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Otitis externa
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Otitis externa

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Contributors: Paul C. Bryson MD
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Synopsis

Inflammation of the soft tissue of the outer ear and ear canal, which is most often caused by an infectious process. Symptoms include erythema, edema, hearing loss, and pain. Other signs and symptoms may include pruritus (ear itch) and discharge. Also called swimmer's ear, typically caused by a bacterial or fungal infection. Entry of water, bacteria, or other debris into the ear canal is a major contributor to formation of infection. Other risk factors are ear trauma, scratching, swabbing, hearing aids, earphones, and earplugs creating conditions under which bacterial infection can spread.

Associated diagnoses include psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, allergic contact dermatitis, perforation, prior ear infections or ear surgery, and radiation therapy that can damage cerumen production.

Management targets pain and infection control with a range of antimicrobials (topical or oral), antiseptics, glucocorticoids, acidifying solutions, and combination therapies.

Codes

ICD10CM:
H60.90 – Unspecified otitis externa, unspecified ear

SNOMEDCT:
3135009 – Otitis externa

Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

Best Tests

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Last Updated: 06/10/2016
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Otitis externa
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Otitis externa : Otalgia, Otorrhea, Ear itch
Copyright © 2019 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.