Discussions By Condition: Ears, Nose, Mouth & Throat conditions

staph infection of parotid gland

  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • February 10, 2007
  • 00:59 AM

I am concerned because I have had on going swelling and pain in my right jaw and ear. My ear canal swelling almost shut was the first sign that something was wrong. Within a day my jaw on the same side had also began to swell and became very painful. I immediately went to see my family physician. He prescribed an antibiotic, Levaquin, and sent me home. Over the next week, the swelling in my ear went away but not in my jaw. In fact, my jaw became more swollen and painful. I went back in to see my physician who reverred me to an ENT doctor. The ENT doctor put me on a second antibiotic Cleocin, and told me to stop taking the first one my other physician had prescribed. After nearly another week went by, the swelling seemed to be going down. However, to much dismay, it returned within a day or two. I had CT scans of my neck taken, which showed some abnormalities in my parotid gland and the surround lymph nodes (larger than normal), but no masses. I went in to see my ENT again, since the antibiotics were not fixing the problem. He instructed me to finish the Cleocin (4 times a day for 4 more days), the Levaquin (1 a day for 4 more days), in addition to Clarithromycin (2 a day for 14 days). My ENT thinks the swelling is due to a staph infection. However, if the infection doesn't go away within the next week he wants to operate and remove the parotid gland. I don't want someone operating on me unless it is absolutely necessary. Also, how will removing this particular gland get rid of the infection. If after this last three and a half weeks of treatment haven't worked, then is it not possible that this infection could have spread. I want to know what options are out there that will completely get rid of the infection. Or what other possiblities, other than staph, could be causing this problem. Any information you can provide would be helpful.

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5 Replies:

  • Removal of the gland may prove to your benefit if this is a chronic condition. For instance, removing the tonsils when you have tonsilitis, something they dont really do anymore unless the condition is "chronic" and the organ is just plain diseased. I can only tell you, I feel for your pain. I live with Parotid tumors and have some type of infection in the gland (the part thats left after my first surgery). I can extend you my research thus far...Questions, Do you have debris or calcifications coming from the stensons duct (saliva duct), is it protruding into the inner cheek of your mouth?Do you have turbid saliva or pus when expressing your parotid? (start from the front of the ear and push forward use tissue or gauze to evaluate.) Things to look upAcute Parotitis, or Sialdenitis.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • February 16, 2007
    • 08:34 PM
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  • There is no drainage coming from the gland. My ENT doctor tried expressing it on multiple occassions.However, I have recently discovered my family has a history of amelobastomia is the jaw area. I'm now wondering if this possibly could be what is going on instead of an infection since there is no sign of infection other than swelling in the jaw. The swelling could be caused by an amelobastomia growth.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • February 21, 2007
    • 00:43 AM
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  • Ameloblastoma's are easily diagnosed after a panorex taken by a dentist.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I am 47 and have had chronic problems with the parotid gland on the right side of my face since I was in my 20s. The first time my face swelled up, it happened so quickly and so painfully, I bolted for the emergency room immediately. The doctor told me to suck on lemons. (Apparently to try to pull through any stones that may have formed in the gland.) Now, years later, I am currently on Levaquin for what is probably my 5th or 6th infection. I am swollen near and 'into' my ear, as well as below my jaw line, not too far in front of my ear. It is miserable. The infection has never lasted after taking Levaquin (up to the last time, anyway...today was my first dose). I have read about surgery and it's risky and carries no guarantees, so I choose to deal with this incredibly annoying and painful 'disorder' year after year. Stress seems to make it worse.One correlation I've been able to make is that taking ANY kind of antihistimine will cause my gland to 'malfunction' with almost 100% certainty. This means any oral medication, and even eye drops. Most often, I cannot even use non-allergy eye drops without feeling a 'sensation' in the gland that warns me to discontinue using them immediately. I used Claritin last week for a severe allergic reaction to the late summer pollens, and my gland was compromised within 2 days, leading to this infection. No more allergy meds of any kind for me.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • September 19, 2007
    • 00:29 AM
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  • I am 54 year old female with chronic parotid swelling and infections since babyhood. Photos of me as a toddler show a large egg sized swelling on the side of my face, and all my photos show swelling of various sizes, as the 'lump' went up and down. I had numerous infections, yearly at least, treated with penicillin and/or poultices in the 1950's and 1960's. Explorative surgery in 1960 showed normal tissue and no tumour. A narrower-than-normal tube leading from the gland to my mouth, which sometimes became blocked was suspected as the cause of the infections. Due to the risk of facial nerve damage in pre-microsurgery days, removal of the gland was not attempted. The British government was kind enough to provide a steady stream of interested yet puzzled professors to examine me over the years. I was born with a normal jaw, but it is now malformed (not visibly to others) and I have a limited mouth opening due to the constant swelling. When the infection and/or swelling was large, my teeth were clenched together and I was unable to eat solids. (This was only a real problem during emergency surgery). I was very sensitive to the wind and draughts, becoming hypersensitive as the swelling and infection got worse. My warm hand was always up around my face to protect it. The combined pain of severe infection and pressure of swelling was pretty miserable as a child, but you learn how to deal with it. Hormones may have been involved, as I was worse when pregnant, puberty and menopause. Six years ago, after a particularly long and bad attack, I decided to have surgery. Years of infection had allowed scar tissue to grow throughout the facial nerves, but my excellent doctor skillfully and patiently removed it and most of the parotid gland, leaving only a small part of the gland. What I have left of the parotid seems to work perfectly well, with plenty saliva. For 4 years I had the freedom of going out in the wind, getting my hair wet etc, when all of a sudden, two years ago, it was back again, as bad as ever, and exactly the same as before. This happened after lots of swimming and outdoor activities in the wind, even though I now live in a sub tropical climate. No explanation was given (known) as to why this had happened, and I was told surgery was not possible again. A new problem (tumour) or auto immune disease was suspected, but no, it appears to be the same old problem. However, I have found a method of controlling it which works for me. I simply keep my head warm and protected from draughts at night. I wear a stretchy pull on balaclava type hat to bed and voila, after 54 years, the heat keeps me well. If I don't cover it at night, it is swollen in the morning and on its way to trapping the saliva which then becomes infected. Daytime I don't worry about, but tend to avoid wind and draughts. I can't believe the solution is so simple and wonder how many other problems could be solved by warmth.
    Dial999 6 Replies
    • October 31, 2008
    • 03:05 PM
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