Mumps is diagnosed clinically based on certain signs and symptoms (parotid swelling on one or both sides) and findings of physical examination.
Medical history: The doctor will take a detailed history of your symptoms. Some of the questions that the doctor may ask include:
Physical examination: During physical examination the doctor will check the swollen parotid gland for warmth and tenderness, i.e. pain on touch. The gland is warm and it pains upon touch, and may be painful on eating, swallowing, and talking. As the gland is just below the ears, when it gets swollen the ear on that side gets slightly upturned. Parotid gland on one or both the sides may be affected. In most cases salivary gland on both sides of the face are affected. Both the glands may be involved at the same time or in some cases swelling of one gland may start after the swelling on first side is decreasing.
If the symptoms and findings of physical examination are not clear the doctor will try to rule out other medical conditions that can have similar signs or symptoms. Some of the conditions which can cause swelling of parotid gland include:
Laboratory tests: In most cases lab tests are not required to diagnose mumps. If the diagnosis is doubtful the doctor may do tests. Tests which may be done include virus culture or a blood test to detect mumps antibodies.
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