hi--thanks for visiting Pearl/JustAnswer. I can't replace local medical care but I can give you advice.
This is only happening on the right side of your neck? Have the doctors looked in your ear and down your throat?
Did you have a lot of ear infections as a child? Does this worsen at any time of the year? Do you have runny nose or cough chronically?
Sorry to ask so many questions. Wish I could examine you but cannot over the Internet.
Sounds as if you have allergies with resultant swollen glands and possibly infections that come and go anywhere from your ear to throat or even the skin of your neck and scalp. Once the swollen glands (lymph nodes) are inflamed long enough they become scarred and permanently enlarged.
More worrisome reasons for swollen glands are unlikely to be present for 20 years without worsening symptoms elsewhere.
The question is, is this just allergies or is something blocking your ear canal or throat on that side, like a chronically infected tonsil? (Even if you had your tonsils removed, sometimes enough is left behind to grow back)
Is your hearing okay or muffled in that side?
Is the other side completely clear?
Please answer as many of the questions as you can--the expression I always followed was: the person will tell you what's wrong if you have enough time and patience. I vow to have both and even if I sign off for a while, I'll be back.
I didnt have any ear troubles as a child. The doctor has looked at my throat and ear and always says it lookd clear..you must have a virus..and sends me home...I do have a chronic cough...I swallow a lot...My hearing is ok..when this happens all my joints seem to hurt too..i get very lethargic too...
That's no way to live-having problems that almost disable you at different times! This could be a number of different things and you should be tested for them. You might have chronic Lyme's or an auto-immune disorder or something like sarcoidosis. If you were born/grew up in an area where there is the fungal disorder coccidiomycosis or were exposed to tuberculosis, you should be tested for them. Allergies are of course the front-runner but other problems do happen. You need a chest x-ray or chest CT for chronic cough, blood serologies and maybe a lymph node biopsy (a very simple needle procedure through the skin, like drawing blood.)
these things are treatable and even curable so finding out what's going on could result in an end to the symptoms.
Do you have more comments or questions? Please ask. I know there is a big time difference as I'm in California.
Good. I'm glad you're checking. TB contracted when you are a small child can linger until it manifests itself when you are an oldster. The vaccination, the only one that has been invented is BCG, which is only somewhat effective. There is coccicio in Australia. Lyme's too, apparently. I would have to research the distribution of them and I do not know where you live.
It is time to find out what's going on--from those things to chronic fatigue and on. There is a large list. I do doubt that a throat swab will tell much and I presume he found your tonsil on that side either missing or not infected-looking. Press him to get to the bottom of this.
All best to you--in my mind your problem is what makes medicine interesting to doctors. It's a matter of unraveling a mystery. Be your own best advocate.