Swollen gland on left side of my head


Q: I have had cold/flu symptoms for about 24 hours (occasional sore throat, stuffy nose headache, etc). It is flu season so I know it's common this time of year. However I noticed that in that same time, I started getting a pain behind my left jawbone and in front of and behind the ear. I also noticed that there is minor swelling in front of the ear and there is a small hard lump behind the ear. I did some research and from what I found it seems that I have a swollen parotid gland. My question is, could the cold be causing this swollen gland on only the one side or could this be a separate issue? Any help would be appreciated.

Symptoms:  Cold/flu symptoms, minor swelling on the left cheek, hard painful lump behind ear and jaw bone

A:   Thank you for your question. It is possible that the swelling in your face may indeed be a parotid gland which has become infected as part of your overall influenza infection. It is crucial that you promptly have your doctor examine this swelling to determine if you require medical treatment. The parotid gland has branches of the facial nerve which are in close relation to it. Parotitis can actually interfere with the function of these branches of the facial nerve leading to paralysis of areas of the face. Please seek medical evaluation immediately.

Thank you for consulting AskTheDoctor.com

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