ZocdocAnswersI have lumps above my ears. What could it be?

Question

I have lumps above my ears. What could it be?

i have a question about something that i haven't been able to find nowhere on the internet. they may be some kind of glands, muscles, or something ..I've looked for everything they culd possibly be and have found nuthing. about 2in above my ears nd 1in toward the bakc of my head(still above the ears)are lumps. i recall one day as i was having a laugh, the "lumps" tensing up and starting to throb..becoming painful, nd they where even swollen to where my girlfriend culd notice them protruding. I've noticed them in minor cases b4 but never really was concerned until then..any answers??

Answer

Thanks for the question. I recommend that you speak with your doctor about this concern. The first clue to what your problem may be should be found in the anatomy. About 2 inches above the ears and 1 inch posterior there is not much that is found. There is skin, several layers of muscle and other fascia, and the skull. Other than that, there may be a few lymph nodes. The fact that you say ears implies that the lumps you are describing are present on both sides, which can be reassuring in some sense in that most tumors, cancers, etc would not generally appear on both sides at the same time. Also, the fact that these things come and go is reassuring in the same fashion. Based on the location and the description that you provide, the 2 other most common probabilities is that it has something either to do with the muscles in that area or the lymph nodes. The description of them tensing while laughing does seem more consistent with a muscle spasm, which can be associated with headaches in some people. Lymph nodes can become tense, but usually just during times of infection and other causes rather than laughing. Please speak with your doctor about this question.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.