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Dr. Rick, MD
Dr. Rick, MD, Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 11309
Experience:  20+ years as a doctor. Internal Medicine Internship in NYC
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My 74-year-old wife has a swollen parotid gland. The

Customer Question

My 74-year-old wife has a swollen parotid gland. The swelling appeared Sunday night as a slight sore swelling. By Monday morning it was a vertical swelling in front of the left ear, extending down to the neck. It is now causing considerable pain, relieved somewhat by Tylenol. A local doctor put her on Augmentin (generic) but did not seem too sure about what is going on (i.e., "it could be a number of things" and he wants to see her next Monday. Any ideas?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Rick, MD replied 5 years ago.
RickMD :

I am online and happy to help you with your question today.

RickMD :

Is she having any facial pain or weakness?

RickMD :

Does she have any bad taste in her mouth? Does the swelling get worse when she is eating and then go down a bit? Does she have dry eyes and/or dry mouth?

RickMD :

I see that you are offline. I'll switch over to the Q&A system. This system works a lot like 'text messaging' but an email is sent to each of us anytime something is posted to this thread. We can continue to work on your question there..... :)

Dr. Rick, MD and 5 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Rick, MD replied 5 years ago.
I look forward to your response so that we can continue working on what is going on with your wife's parotid gland
Expert:  Dr. Rick, MD replied 5 years ago.
You accepted my answer as we were in the middle of working on your question.
Did you see my questions?
I am still here and ready to continue trying to figure out what is going on with your wife's parotid gland swelling.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Actually, I have not received any answer. You asked four questions, the answer to all of which is "No". This was after I gave up trying to get the system to accept my sign-in. This evening I replied to one of your e-mails, did you receive it?


Expert:  Dr. Rick, MD replied 5 years ago.
No. This is the only reply I've received from you. Sorry for the glitch in the computer :(
But, thanks for that information.
The most common cause of painful swelling of the parotid gland is salivary stones blocking the outflow of saliva leading to a possible secondary bacterial infection. Viral infections, such as mumps, CMV, HIV etc can also cause this. Rarely, benign or even cancerous tumors can cause parotid swelling but usually these are, unlike what your wife is experiencing, painless.
One common cause in your wife's age group is Sjogren's syndrome. This is a disease where her own immune system attacks the tissues of the parotid gland, leading to issues with dry mouth, dry eyes etc.
It is important for your wife to have a complete examination by her MD to figure out which of the above issues, if any, are causing the painful swelling so that appropriate therapy can be started.
Here is a very good webpage that discusses this issue:
Does this make sense to you?
Once again, I am sorry about the technical problems with getting your question answered. Let me know if you have any further questions or if I can be of any further service. Have a good day.