Achieve Mastery of Medical Concepts

Study for medical school and boards with Lecturio

Otitis Externa

Otitis externa (also known as external otitis or swimmer’s ear) is an infection of the external auditory canal that is most often caused by bacteria Bacteria Bacteria are prokaryotic single-celled microorganisms that are metabolically active and divide by binary fission. Some of these organisms play a significant role in the pathogenesis of diseases. Bacteriology. Otitis externa is frequently associated with hot, humid weather and water exposure. Patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship commonly present with ear pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways, pruritus Pruritus An intense itching sensation that produces the urge to rub or scratch the skin to obtain relief. Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema), discharge, and hearing loss Hearing loss Hearing loss, also known as hearing impairment, is any degree of impairment in the ability to apprehend sound as determined by audiometry to be below normal hearing thresholds. Clinical presentation may occur at birth or as a gradual loss of hearing with age, including a short-term or sudden loss at any point. Hearing Loss. The diagnosis is made clinically. Most types of otitis externa are treated with topical antibiotic therapy. Complications include periauricular cellulitis Cellulitis Cellulitis is a common infection caused by bacteria that affects the dermis and subcutaneous tissue of the skin. It is frequently caused by Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes. The skin infection presents as an erythematous and edematous area with warmth and tenderness. Cellulitis and malignant otitis externa.

Last updated: 21 Jun, 2022

Editorial responsibility: Stanley Oiseth, Lindsay Jones, Evelin Maza

Overview

Definition

Otitis externa is an infection of the external auditory canal.

Epidemiology

  • Incidence Incidence The number of new cases of a given disease during a given period in a specified population. It also is used for the rate at which new events occur in a defined population. It is differentiated from prevalence, which refers to all cases in the population at a given time. Measures of Disease Frequency: 4 of 1000 people annually in the United States 
  • Approximately 10% of people develop otitis externa in their lifetime.
  • Age:
    • Occurs in all age groups
    • Most common in children
  • More likely to occur in the summer because of:
    • Humidity
    • Participation in water activities

Etiology

  • Bacterial infection (most cases):
    • Pseudomonas Pseudomonas Pseudomonas is a non-lactose-fermenting, gram-negative bacillus that produces pyocyanin, which gives it a characteristic blue-green color. Pseudomonas is found ubiquitously in the environment, as well as in moist reservoirs, such as hospital sinks and respiratory equipment. Pseudomonas aeruginosa 
    • Staphylococcus Staphylococcus Staphylococcus is a medically important genera of Gram-positive, aerobic cocci. These bacteria form clusters resembling grapes on culture plates. Staphylococci are ubiquitous for humans, and many strains compose the normal skin flora. Staphylococcus aureus
    • Staphylococcus epidermidis Staphylococcus epidermidis A species of staphylococcus that is a spherical, non-motile, gram-positive, chemoorganotrophic, facultative anaerobe. Mainly found on the skin and mucous membrane of warm-blooded animals, it can be primary pathogen or secondary invader. Staphylococcus
    • Proteus vulgaris Proteus vulgaris A species of gram-negative, facultatively anaerobic, rod-shaped bacteria that occurs in soil, fecal matter, and sewage. It is an opportunistic pathogen and causes cystitis and pyelonephritis. Proteus
    • Escherichia coli Escherichia coli The gram-negative bacterium Escherichia coli is a key component of the human gut microbiota. Most strains of E. coli are avirulent, but occasionally they escape the GI tract, infecting the urinary tract and other sites. Less common strains of E. coli are able to cause disease within the GI tract, most commonly presenting as abdominal pain and diarrhea. Escherichia coli
  • Fungal infection (rare):
    • Candida albicans Candida albicans A unicellular budding fungus which is the principal pathogenic species causing candidiasis (moniliasis). Candida/Candidiasis
    • Aspergillus Aspergillus A genus of mitosporic fungi containing about 100 species and eleven different teleomorphs in the family trichocomaceae. Echinocandins niger

Risk factors

  • Swimming or other water exposure
  • Hot, humid weather
  • Trauma (including cleaning with cotton swabs)
  • Ear canal occlusion:
    • Cerumen
    • Foreign body Foreign Body Foreign Body Aspiration
    • Hearing aids AIDS Chronic HIV infection and depletion of CD4 cells eventually results in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), which can be diagnosed by the presence of certain opportunistic diseases called AIDS-defining conditions. These conditions include a wide spectrum of bacterial, viral, fungal, and parasitic infections as well as several malignancies and generalized conditions. HIV Infection and AIDS
    • Headphones
  • Dermatologic conditions:
    • Eczema Eczema Atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema, is a chronic, relapsing, pruritic, inflammatory skin disease that occurs more frequently in children, although adults can also be affected. The condition is often associated with elevated serum levels of IgE and a personal or family history of atopy. Skin dryness, erythema, oozing, crusting, and lichenification are present. Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema)
    • Contact dermatitis Dermatitis Any inflammation of the skin. Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema)
    • Psoriasis Psoriasis Psoriasis is a common T-cell-mediated inflammatory skin condition. The etiology is unknown, but is thought to be due to genetic inheritance and environmental triggers. There are 4 major subtypes, with the most common form being chronic plaque psoriasis. Psoriasis
  • Radiation Radiation Emission or propagation of acoustic waves (sound), electromagnetic energy waves (such as light; radio waves; gamma rays; or x-rays), or a stream of subatomic particles (such as electrons; neutrons; protons; or alpha particles). Osteosarcoma therapy
  • Immunosuppression:
    • HIV HIV Anti-HIV Drugs/ AIDS AIDS Chronic HIV infection and depletion of CD4 cells eventually results in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), which can be diagnosed by the presence of certain opportunistic diseases called AIDS-defining conditions. These conditions include a wide spectrum of bacterial, viral, fungal, and parasitic infections as well as several malignancies and generalized conditions. HIV Infection and AIDS
    • Diabetes Diabetes Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a metabolic disease characterized by hyperglycemia and dysfunction of the regulation of glucose metabolism by insulin. Type 1 DM is diagnosed mostly in children and young adults as the result of autoimmune destruction of β cells in the pancreas and the resulting lack of insulin. Type 2 DM has a significant association with obesity and is characterized by insulin resistance. Diabetes Mellitus
    • Chemotherapy Chemotherapy Osteosarcoma

Pathophysiology

Defense mechanisms Defense mechanisms Defense mechanisms are normal subconscious means of resolving inner conflicts between an individual’s subjective moral sense and their thoughts, feelings, or actions. Defense mechanisms serve to protect the self from unpleasant feelings (anxiety, shame, and/or guilt) and are divided into pathologic, immature, mature, neurotic, and other types. Defense Mechanisms of the ear

  • Tragus and conchal cartilage Cartilage Cartilage is a type of connective tissue derived from embryonic mesenchyme that is responsible for structural support, resilience, and the smoothness of physical actions. Perichondrium (connective tissue membrane surrounding cartilage) compensates for the absence of vasculature in cartilage by providing nutrition and support. Cartilage: Histology → prevent the entrance of foreign bodies
  • Hair follicles and isthmus Isthmus Uterus, Cervix, and Fallopian Tubes: Anatomy narrowing → stop the entry of contaminants
  • Cerumen → creates an acidic environment → inhibits bacterial and fungal growth

Pathogenesis of otitis externa

  • Breakdown of the skin Skin The skin, also referred to as the integumentary system, is the largest organ of the body. The skin is primarily composed of the epidermis (outer layer) and dermis (deep layer). The epidermis is primarily composed of keratinocytes that undergo rapid turnover, while the dermis contains dense layers of connective tissue. Skin: Structure and Functions–cerumen barrier is caused by:
    • Damage to epithelium Epithelium The epithelium is a complex of specialized cellular organizations arranged into sheets and lining cavities and covering the surfaces of the body. The cells exhibit polarity, having an apical and a basal pole. Structures important for the epithelial integrity and function involve the basement membrane, the semipermeable sheet on which the cells rest, and interdigitations, as well as cellular junctions. Surface Epithelium: Histology
    • ↓ Quantity and quality Quality Activities and programs intended to assure or improve the quality of care in either a defined medical setting or a program. The concept includes the assessment or evaluation of the quality of care; identification of problems or shortcomings in the delivery of care; designing activities to overcome these deficiencies; and follow-up monitoring to ensure effectiveness of corrective steps. Quality Measurement and Improvement of cerumen
    • Moisture accumulation
    • Obstruction of the ear canal
  • pH pH The quantitative measurement of the acidity or basicity of a solution. Acid-Base Balance of the ear canal → ear canal becomes a prime breeding ground for microscopic organisms → infection
  • Inflammation Inflammation Inflammation is a complex set of responses to infection and injury involving leukocytes as the principal cellular mediators in the body’s defense against pathogenic organisms. Inflammation is also seen as a response to tissue injury in the process of wound healing. The 5 cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation and edema Edema Edema is a condition in which excess serous fluid accumulates in the body cavity or interstitial space of connective tissues. Edema is a symptom observed in several medical conditions. It can be categorized into 2 types, namely, peripheral (in the extremities) and internal (in an organ or body cavity). Edema of the skin Skin The skin, also referred to as the integumentary system, is the largest organ of the body. The skin is primarily composed of the epidermis (outer layer) and dermis (deep layer). The epidermis is primarily composed of keratinocytes that undergo rapid turnover, while the dermis contains dense layers of connective tissue. Skin: Structure and Functions → purulent exudate Exudate Exudates are fluids, cells, or other cellular substances that are slowly discharged from blood vessels usually from inflamed tissues. Pleural Effusion

Clinical Presentation and Diagnosis

Symptoms

  • Ear pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways
  • Pruritus Pruritus An intense itching sensation that produces the urge to rub or scratch the skin to obtain relief. Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema)
  • Fullness
  • Discharge (otorrhea)
  • Hearing loss Hearing loss Hearing loss, also known as hearing impairment, is any degree of impairment in the ability to apprehend sound as determined by audiometry to be below normal hearing thresholds. Clinical presentation may occur at birth or as a gradual loss of hearing with age, including a short-term or sudden loss at any point. Hearing Loss

Physical examination

  • Tenderness with tragal pressure 
  • Pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways with manipulation of the auricle
  • Edema Edema Edema is a condition in which excess serous fluid accumulates in the body cavity or interstitial space of connective tissues. Edema is a symptom observed in several medical conditions. It can be categorized into 2 types, namely, peripheral (in the extremities) and internal (in an organ or body cavity). Edema and erythema Erythema Redness of the skin produced by congestion of the capillaries. This condition may result from a variety of disease processes. Chalazion of the ear canal
  • Yellow, white, gray, or brown purulent debris
  • On pneumatic otoscopy Otoscopy Examination of the ear canal and eardrum with an otoscope. Hearing Loss, the tympanic membrane Tympanic membrane An oval semitransparent membrane separating the external ear canal from the tympanic cavity. It contains three layers: the skin of the external ear canal; the core of radially and circularly arranged collagen fibers; and the mucosa of the middle ear. Ear: Anatomy is mobile.

Diagnosis

The diagnosis of otitis externa is based on the history and physical examination. Culture of the ear canal or discharge is indicated for severe, recurrent, or chronic cases.

Management

Management

  • Remove cerumen, desquamated skin Skin The skin, also referred to as the integumentary system, is the largest organ of the body. The skin is primarily composed of the epidermis (outer layer) and dermis (deep layer). The epidermis is primarily composed of keratinocytes that undergo rapid turnover, while the dermis contains dense layers of connective tissue. Skin: Structure and Functions, and purulent material.
  • Protect ear from water.
  • Pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways relief:
    • NSAIDs NSAIDS Primary vs Secondary Headaches
    • Acetaminophen Acetaminophen Acetaminophen is an over-the-counter nonopioid analgesic and antipyretic medication and the most commonly used analgesic worldwide. Despite the widespread use of acetaminophen, its mechanism of action is not entirely understood. Acetaminophen
    • Opioids Opioids Opiates are drugs that are derived from the sap of the opium poppy. Opiates have been used since antiquity for the relief of acute severe pain. Opioids are synthetic opiates with properties that are substantially similar to those of opiates. Opioid Analgesics for severe pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways
  • Topical antibiotic otic drops:
    • Polymyxin B plus neomycin
    • Ofloxacin Ofloxacin A synthetic fluoroquinolone antibacterial agent that inhibits the supercoiling activity of bacterial DNA gyrase, halting DNA replication. Fluoroquinolones
    • Ciprofloxacin Ciprofloxacin A broad-spectrum antimicrobial carboxyfluoroquinoline. Fluoroquinolones
    • Combined preparations with topical steroids Steroids A group of polycyclic compounds closely related biochemically to terpenes. They include cholesterol, numerous hormones, precursors of certain vitamins, bile acids, alcohols (sterols), and certain natural drugs and poisons. Steroids have a common nucleus, a fused, reduced 17-carbon atom ring system, cyclopentanoperhydrophenanthrene. Most steroids also have two methyl groups and an aliphatic side-chain attached to the nucleus. Benign Liver Tumors can help with pruritus Pruritus An intense itching sensation that produces the urge to rub or scratch the skin to obtain relief. Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema) and inflammation Inflammation Inflammation is a complex set of responses to infection and injury involving leukocytes as the principal cellular mediators in the body’s defense against pathogenic organisms. Inflammation is also seen as a response to tissue injury in the process of wound healing. The 5 cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation.
  • An ear wick can be placed to facilitate medication delivery in patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship with significant ear canal edema Edema Edema is a condition in which excess serous fluid accumulates in the body cavity or interstitial space of connective tissues. Edema is a symptom observed in several medical conditions. It can be categorized into 2 types, namely, peripheral (in the extremities) and internal (in an organ or body cavity). Edema.
  • Otomycosis is a fungal infection of the external auditory canal:
    • Can develop with the bacterial infection, or can result from antibiotic therapy
    • Treat with topical antifungals (e.g., clotrimazole Clotrimazole An imidazole derivative with a broad spectrum of antimycotic activity. It inhibits biosynthesis of the sterol ergostol, an important component of fungal cell membranes. Its action leads to increased membrane permeability and apparent disruption of enzyme systems bound to the membrane. Azoles solution)

Prognosis Prognosis A prediction of the probable outcome of a disease based on a individual’s condition and the usual course of the disease as seen in similar situations. Non-Hodgkin Lymphomas

  • Symptom improvement begins about 36–48 hours after initiation of treatment.
  • Completely resolves in about 6 days

Complications

Periauricular cellulitis Cellulitis Cellulitis is a common infection caused by bacteria that affects the dermis and subcutaneous tissue of the skin. It is frequently caused by Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes. The skin infection presents as an erythematous and edematous area with warmth and tenderness. Cellulitis

  • Erythema Erythema Redness of the skin produced by congestion of the capillaries. This condition may result from a variety of disease processes. Chalazion, edema Edema Edema is a condition in which excess serous fluid accumulates in the body cavity or interstitial space of connective tissues. Edema is a symptom observed in several medical conditions. It can be categorized into 2 types, namely, peripheral (in the extremities) and internal (in an organ or body cavity). Edema, and warmth develop around the auricle.
  • Pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways is mild.
  • Systemic symptoms are absent.

Malignant otitis externa

Also known as necrotizing otitis externa, this is an invasive, life-threatening infection of the external auditory canal and skull Skull The skull (cranium) is the skeletal structure of the head supporting the face and forming a protective cavity for the brain. The skull consists of 22 bones divided into the viscerocranium (facial skeleton) and the neurocranium. Skull: Anatomy base.

Etiology:

  • Almost always caused by Pseudomonas Pseudomonas Pseudomonas is a non-lactose-fermenting, gram-negative bacillus that produces pyocyanin, which gives it a characteristic blue-green color. Pseudomonas is found ubiquitously in the environment, as well as in moist reservoirs, such as hospital sinks and respiratory equipment. Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • Risk factors:
    • Elderly
    • Diabetes mellitus Diabetes mellitus Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a metabolic disease characterized by hyperglycemia and dysfunction of the regulation of glucose metabolism by insulin. Type 1 DM is diagnosed mostly in children and young adults as the result of autoimmune destruction of β cells in the pancreas and the resulting lack of insulin. Type 2 DM has a significant association with obesity and is characterized by insulin resistance. Diabetes Mellitus
    • HIV HIV Anti-HIV Drugs
  • Along with above risk factors, the condition is more frequently seen in individuals with a prior history of ear irrigation.

Clinical presentation:

  • Extreme otalgia Otalgia Acute Otitis Media (disproportionate to findings) and otorrhea
  • Granulation tissue Granulation tissue A vascular connective tissue formed on the surface of a healing wound, ulcer, or inflamed tissue. It consists of new capillaries and an infiltrate containing lymphoid cells, macrophages, and plasma cells. Wound Healing may be visible in the inferior portion of the external auditory canal.
  • Can lead to cranial nerve palsies Cranial Nerve Palsies Cranial nerve palsy is a congenital or acquired dysfunction of 1 or more cranial nerves that will, in turn, lead to focal neurologic abnormalities in movement or autonomic dysfunction of its territory. Head/neck trauma, mass effect, infectious processes, and ischemia/infarction are among the many etiologies for these dysfunctions. Diagnosis is initially clinical and supported by diagnostic aids. Management includes both symptomatic measures and interventions aimed at correcting the underlying cause. Cranial Nerve Palsies if the disease progresses to osteomyelitis Osteomyelitis Osteomyelitis is an infection of the bone that results from the spread of microorganisms from the blood (hematogenous), nearby infected tissue, or open wounds (non-hematogenous). Infections are most commonly caused by Staphylococcus aureus. Osteomyelitis of the skull Skull The skull (cranium) is the skeletal structure of the head supporting the face and forming a protective cavity for the brain. The skull consists of 22 bones divided into the viscerocranium (facial skeleton) and the neurocranium. Skull: Anatomy base and temporomandibular joint

Diagnosis:

Management:

  • IV antibiotic therapy:
    • Ciprofloxacin Ciprofloxacin A broad-spectrum antimicrobial carboxyfluoroquinoline. Fluoroquinolones 
    • Piperacillin Piperacillin Semisynthetic, broad-spectrum, ampicillin derived ureidopenicillin antibiotic proposed for pseudomonas infections. It is also used in combination with other antibiotics. Penicillins tazobactam Tazobactam A penicillanic acid and sulfone derivative and potent beta-lactamase inhibitor that enhances the activity of other anti-bacterial agents against beta-lactamase producing bacteria. Cephalosporins
    • Cefepime Cefepime A fourth-generation cephalosporin antibacterial agent that is used in the treatment of infections, including those of the abdomen, urinary tract, respiratory tract, and skin. It is effective against pseudomonas aeruginosa and may also be used in the empiric treatment of febrile neutropenia. Cephalosporins or ceftazidime Ceftazidime Semisynthetic, broad-spectrum antibacterial derived from cephaloridine and used especially for pseudomonas and other gram-negative infections in debilitated patients. Cephalosporins
    • Meropenem Meropenem A thienamycin derivative antibacterial agent that is more stable to renal dehydropeptidase I than imipenem, but does not need to be given with an enzyme inhibitor such as cilastatin. It is used in the treatment of bacterial infections, including infections in immunocompromised patients. Carbapenems and Aztreonam
  • Surgical debridement Debridement The removal of foreign material and devitalized or contaminated tissue from or adjacent to a traumatic or infected lesion until surrounding healthy tissue is exposed. Stevens-Johnson Syndrome is rarely needed for extensive infection.

Complications:

  • Cranial nerve palsies Cranial Nerve Palsies Cranial nerve palsy is a congenital or acquired dysfunction of 1 or more cranial nerves that will, in turn, lead to focal neurologic abnormalities in movement or autonomic dysfunction of its territory. Head/neck trauma, mass effect, infectious processes, and ischemia/infarction are among the many etiologies for these dysfunctions. Diagnosis is initially clinical and supported by diagnostic aids. Management includes both symptomatic measures and interventions aimed at correcting the underlying cause. Cranial Nerve Palsies
  • Meningitis Meningitis Meningitis is inflammation of the meninges, the protective membranes of the brain, and spinal cord. The causes of meningitis are varied, with the most common being bacterial or viral infection. The classic presentation of meningitis is a triad of fever, altered mental status, and nuchal rigidity. Meningitis 
  • Brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification abscess Abscess Accumulation of purulent material in tissues, organs, or circumscribed spaces, usually associated with signs of infection. Chronic Granulomatous Disease
  • Dural sinus thrombophlebitis

Differential Diagnosis

  • Contact dermatitis Dermatitis Any inflammation of the skin. Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema): Persistent edema Edema Edema is a condition in which excess serous fluid accumulates in the body cavity or interstitial space of connective tissues. Edema is a symptom observed in several medical conditions. It can be categorized into 2 types, namely, peripheral (in the extremities) and internal (in an organ or body cavity). Edema and erythema Erythema Redness of the skin produced by congestion of the capillaries. This condition may result from a variety of disease processes. Chalazion of the ear canal and auricle despite adequate otitis externa treatment can indicate an allergic reaction. This reaction can be caused by ototopical medication, cosmetics, or shampoos. Pruritus Pruritus An intense itching sensation that produces the urge to rub or scratch the skin to obtain relief. Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema) and erythema Erythema Redness of the skin produced by congestion of the capillaries. This condition may result from a variety of disease processes. Chalazion are the primary symptoms, and vesicles Vesicles Female Genitourinary Examination can be seen, usually due to rubbing and itching. The diagnosis is made clinically. Management involves cessation of the causative substance.
  • Chronic suppurative otitis media: a complication of persistent acute otitis media Acute Otitis Media Acute otitis media is an infection in the middle ear characterized by mucosal inflammation and retention of fluid. The most common pathogens are Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, and Moraxella catarrhalis. The condition can present with fever, otalgia, and diminished hearing. Acute Otitis Media with perforation Perforation A pathological hole in an organ, blood vessel or other soft part of the body, occurring in the absence of external force. Esophagitis. Symptoms include otorrhea, otalgia Otalgia Acute Otitis Media, hearing loss Hearing loss Hearing loss, also known as hearing impairment, is any degree of impairment in the ability to apprehend sound as determined by audiometry to be below normal hearing thresholds. Clinical presentation may occur at birth or as a gradual loss of hearing with age, including a short-term or sudden loss at any point. Hearing Loss, tinnitus Tinnitus A nonspecific symptom of hearing disorder characterized by the sensation of buzzing, ringing, clicking, pulsations, and other noises in the ear. Objective tinnitus refers to noises generated from within the ear or adjacent structures that can be heard by other individuals. The term subjective tinnitus is used when the sound is audible only to the affected individual. Tinnitus may occur as a manifestation of cochlear diseases; vestibulocochlear nerve diseases; intracranial hypertension; craniocerebral trauma; and other conditions. Cranial Nerve Palsies, or vertigo Vertigo Vertigo is defined as the perceived sensation of rotational motion while remaining still. A very common complaint in primary care and the ER, vertigo is more frequently experienced by women and its prevalence increases with age. Vertigo is classified into peripheral or central based on its etiology. Vertigo. The diagnosis is made clinically.  The tympanic membrane Tympanic membrane An oval semitransparent membrane separating the external ear canal from the tympanic cavity. It contains three layers: the skin of the external ear canal; the core of radially and circularly arranged collagen fibers; and the mucosa of the middle ear. Ear: Anatomy is often partially visible and not movable by pneumatic insufflation. A tympanic membrane Tympanic membrane An oval semitransparent membrane separating the external ear canal from the tympanic cavity. It contains three layers: the skin of the external ear canal; the core of radially and circularly arranged collagen fibers; and the mucosa of the middle ear. Ear: Anatomy perforation Perforation A pathological hole in an organ, blood vessel or other soft part of the body, occurring in the absence of external force. Esophagitis or retraction pockets may also be seen. Management primarily involves topical fluoroquinolones Fluoroquinolones Fluoroquinolones are a group of broad-spectrum, bactericidal antibiotics inhibiting bacterial DNA replication. Fluoroquinolones cover gram-negative, anaerobic, and atypical organisms, as well as some gram-positive and multidrug-resistant (MDR) organisms. Fluoroquinolones
  • Carcinoma of the ear canal: a rare disease to be considered in the presence of an abnormal growth or unresponsiveness to usual treatment. Common symptoms of carcinoma of the ear canal include mild pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways and bloody otorrhea. A friable lesion with surrounding purulence on an otoscopic exam may be seen. Hearing loss Hearing loss Hearing loss, also known as hearing impairment, is any degree of impairment in the ability to apprehend sound as determined by audiometry to be below normal hearing thresholds. Clinical presentation may occur at birth or as a gradual loss of hearing with age, including a short-term or sudden loss at any point. Hearing Loss and facial paralysis are late signs. Diagnosis is made clinically and confirmed by biopsy Biopsy Removal and pathologic examination of specimens from the living body. Ewing Sarcoma
  • Psoriasis Psoriasis Psoriasis is a common T-cell-mediated inflammatory skin condition. The etiology is unknown, but is thought to be due to genetic inheritance and environmental triggers. There are 4 major subtypes, with the most common form being chronic plaque psoriasis. Psoriasis: an inflammatory skin Skin The skin, also referred to as the integumentary system, is the largest organ of the body. The skin is primarily composed of the epidermis (outer layer) and dermis (deep layer). The epidermis is primarily composed of keratinocytes that undergo rapid turnover, while the dermis contains dense layers of connective tissue. Skin: Structure and Functions condition that commonly involves the external ear canal and leads to redness Redness Inflammation and scaling that often extends to the conchal bowl and auricle: The clinical appearance of psoriasis Psoriasis Psoriasis is a common T-cell-mediated inflammatory skin condition. The etiology is unknown, but is thought to be due to genetic inheritance and environmental triggers. There are 4 major subtypes, with the most common form being chronic plaque psoriasis. Psoriasis in the external auditory canal varies by subtype. The diagnosis is made clinically.  Management can include steroids Steroids A group of polycyclic compounds closely related biochemically to terpenes. They include cholesterol, numerous hormones, precursors of certain vitamins, bile acids, alcohols (sterols), and certain natural drugs and poisons. Steroids have a common nucleus, a fused, reduced 17-carbon atom ring system, cyclopentanoperhydrophenanthrene. Most steroids also have two methyl groups and an aliphatic side-chain attached to the nucleus. Benign Liver Tumors and retinoids Retinoids Retinol and derivatives of retinol that play an essential role in metabolic functioning of the retina, the growth of and differentiation of epithelial tissue, the growth of bone, reproduction, and the immune response. Dietary vitamin A is derived from a variety of carotenoids found in plants. It is enriched in the liver, egg yolks, and the fat component of dairy products. Fat-soluble Vitamins and their Deficiencies. More severe cases may require high-dose steroids Steroids A group of polycyclic compounds closely related biochemically to terpenes. They include cholesterol, numerous hormones, precursors of certain vitamins, bile acids, alcohols (sterols), and certain natural drugs and poisons. Steroids have a common nucleus, a fused, reduced 17-carbon atom ring system, cyclopentanoperhydrophenanthrene. Most steroids also have two methyl groups and an aliphatic side-chain attached to the nucleus. Benign Liver Tumors, light therapy, or biologics.

References

  1. Goguen, L. A. (2020). External otitis: Pathogenesis, clinical features, and diagnosis. In Kunins, L. (Ed.), UpToDate. Retrieved March 31, 2021, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/external-otitis-pathogenesis-clinical-features-and-diagnosis
  2. Goguen, L. A. (2019). External otitis: Treatment. In Kunins, L. (Ed.), UpToDate. Retrieved March 31, 2021, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/external-otitis-treatment
  3. Grandis, J. R., Yu, V. L. (2019). Malignant (necrotizing) external otitis. In Bloom, A. (Ed.), UpToDate. Retrieved March 31, 2021, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/malignant-necrotizing-external-otitis
  4. Kumar, V., Abbas, A. K., Aster, J. C. Robbins. (2015). Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease. Philadelphia: Elsevier Saunders.
  5. Lustig, L. R., Limb, C. J. (2021). Chronic otitis media, cholesteatoma, and mastoiditis in adults. UpToDate. Retrieved March 31, 2021, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/chronic-otitis-media-cholesteatoma-and-mastoiditis-in-adults
  6. Rubin, M.A., Ford, L.C., and Gonzales, R. (2018). Sore throat, earache, and upper respiratory symptoms. In Jameson, J., Fauci, A. S., Kasper D. L., Hauser S. L., Longo, D. L., Loscalzo, J. (Eds.), Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th ed. McGraw-Hill.
  7. Kesser, B. W. (2020). External otitis (acute). MSD Manual Professional Version. Retrieved April 8, 2021, from https://www.msdmanuals.com/professional/ear,-nose,-and-throat-disorders/external-ear-disorders/external-otitis-acute
  8. Kesser, B. W. (2020). Malignant external otitis. MSD Manual Professional Version. Retrieved April 8, 2021, from https://www.msdmanuals.com/professional/ear,-nose,-and-throat-disorders/external-ear-disorders/malignant-external-otitis
  9. Waitzman, A. A. (2020). Otitis externa. In Elluru, R. G. (Ed.), Medscape. Retrieved April 8, 2021, from https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/994550-overview
  10. Nussenbaum, B. (2020). Malignant otitis externa. In Meyers, A.D. (Ed.), Medscape. Retrieved April 8, 2021, from https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/845525-overview
  11. Medina-Blasini, Y., Sharman, T. (2020). Otitis externa. StatPearls. Retrieved April 8, 2021, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK556055/

USMLE™ is a joint program of the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB®) and National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME®). MCAT is a registered trademark of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). NCLEX®, NCLEX-RN®, and NCLEX-PN® are registered trademarks of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Inc (NCSBN®). None of the trademark holders are endorsed by nor affiliated with Lecturio.

Study on the Go

Lecturio Medical complements your studies with evidence-based learning strategies, video lectures, quiz questions, and more – all combined in one easy-to-use resource.

Learn even more with Lecturio:

Complement your med school studies with Lecturio’s all-in-one study companion, delivered with evidence-based learning strategies.

User Reviews

¡Hola!

Esta página está disponible en Español.

🍪 Lecturio is using cookies to improve your user experience. By continuing use of our service you agree upon our Data Privacy Statement.

Details