One of the common signs that may tell anything wrong with any parts of the ear is a swollen ear.
Swelling is a natural response by our body that signals something wrong with that particular part; it tells presence of something that poses a risk to our body. The swelling in the ear can occur at different parts of the ear, such as the inner ear or the outer ear including the ear lobe that is visible outside. In this article we will look at the different places in the ear where the swelling can take place and the causes for it.
Swollen ear lobe and swollen ear canal
One common spot where you can sense or feel swelling is the parts of the outer ear, the pinna itself. It is the ear we commonly refer to; it is made of cartilage which is flexible. The function of the pinna is to funnel sound into the ear canal. You may get a swollen ear cartilage for various reasons; the causes include any blow to the ear, or contact with any harsh chemical. It is also common to get a swollen ear piercing; the swelling may subside in a while. The swelling can occur inside the ear canal of the outer ear, which cannot be easily seen but can be felt. The swelling can result from a rise in temperature, such as when you are in fever. Infection is also common in the outer ear canal, which may lead to swelling as one of the symptoms. You may also have felt swollen ear glands; these may not have anything to do with the ear and they may be swollen lymph nodes just behind the ear.
Swollen internal ear
There are more spots within the ear that can be subject to swelling; these will be places that you might not be able to observe. One spot is the eardrums; it can swell due to a number of reasons from infection to perforation from any object from the ear canal, which may be earwax mixed with dust and water. It is important to take care of the swollen ear drum because it can lead to damage. Apart from the eardrum, one other common place for swelling to take place is the Eustachian tube in the inner ear. The swelling is usually caused by fluids draining from the middle ear getting clogged up there. This is more possible when there is an infection in the ear or any other nearby points.