• External otitis media: symptoms, causes and treatment

    External otitis or inflammation of the external part of the hearing aid is a disease that meets quite often, the term close to this disease is "swimmer's ear".

    The disease is characteristic of any age, children suffer more often. Two types of disease - limited and diffuse are manifested in various forms.

    Limited captures the external auditory canal in the form of inflammation in the follicle in the form of furunculosis.

    Visually, the furuncle is outwardly invisible, the patient can only guess at the onset of the disease by the presence of painful sensations when touching the ear. After a few days, the purulent pimple begins to open and the sensation of pain passes.

    Diffuse type of disease covers the entire auditory canal. Usually the inflammatory process is caused by a fungal, bacterial or viral infection. Often, the main cause of the disease is the activity of group A streptococci.

    Causes of

    The skin of the ear canal is acidic, however, due to prolonged exposure to water and other factors, acidity seems to dissolve in the aquatic environment.

    Often, external otitis occurs after swimming lessons, because with prolonged stay of water in the ear canal the probability of disease is increased.

    Otitis of this species can appear in people working in too hot or dry conditions, when the humidity of the air is increased. In addition, otitis externa arises from the use of hearing aids and ear plugs. Contribute to the development of the disease are also scratches and small wounds on the external ear passage.

    They can appear due to improper use of cotton buds, and also because of ear cleaning from sulfur by studs, matches, nails. But still more often external otitis is a consequence of the influence of water, so swimmers suffer from this ailment more than ordinary people.

    Symptoms of external otitis

    The characteristic symptoms of external otitis media will depend on the form of the disease. Common signs that are expressed in all the varieties of the disease are as follows:

    • increased pain when touched by the auricle and tragus.
    • sensation of itching in the ear. Then usually it is a fungal affection.
    • pain in one ear that does not pass.
    • feeling, like an ear embedded.
    • hearing impairment.
    • puffiness of the external auditory canal, enlarged lymph nodes behind the ear.
    • purulent discharge from the ear.
    With , the limited external otitis , the pain is of a pulsating nature, usually it increases when talking or chewing functions. If the patient pulls a tragus or presses on it, he will feel pain in his ear. Usually the hearing condition does not deteriorate, violations are possible only with complete overlapping of the ear canal. The doctor, examining the ear, will see redness and swelling on the wall of the auditory canal. After a certain period of time, a furuncle ripens and purulent contents are released.

    When diffuse external otitis patient is worried about a small earache, itching, sometimes it can be palpable. The temperature of the patient does not increase, during the examination the doctor sees an edema, flushing and thickening of the skin of the auditory canal. Sometimes the hearing decreases. If the inflammation passes to the tympanic membrane, it is likely that additional symptoms of external otitis such as small liquid discharge from the ears, redness of the tympanic membrane, and a decrease in hearing quality will appear.

    At the first complaints, immediately consult a doctor. Do not start the disease, because it will be hard to cure it in the future. In addition, the symptoms of external otitis are not the most pleasant.

    Treatment of external otitis

    The doctor, looking at you and having studied the symptoms, will prescribe a quality treatment for external otitis media. If the external otitis has developed due to skin disease, it should be treated first.

    Bacterial otitis is treated with antibacterial drugs.

    If fungal otitis externa has been detected, antifungal agents of general action are prescribed, since the use of only topical medications is not effective. Also, with fungal damage to the ear, immunomodulating drugs are prescribed, as well as means of general strengthening effect.

    If there is an allergic external otitis, prescribe antihistamines of general direction. Sometimes local treatment is used. With a minor damage to the ear, local lotions, ointments, all are chosen individually. Often physiotherapeutic procedures are prescribed, warming compresses, cotton turundas with alcohol, as well as vitamins.

    Restricted otitis externa is treated with an operative dissection of the purulent contents of the boil. Further treatment is carried out with the use of antibacterial ointments and lotions( drugs Normaks, Kandibiotic), as well as hormonal ointments for rapid healing and swelling. If the doctor during the examination of the patient will see several boils at once, then, most likely, you will need systemic antibacterial treatment.

    Diffuse otitis externa is most often treated with antibacterial drugs, as in more than 90% of cases the disease is caused by bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. For a speedy recovery recommend laser therapy, UFO, UHF, the use of such ointments as bactrobanic and prednisolone.

    A successful combination is a drug called candybiotic, it contains an antibiotic, an antifungal agent, a glucocorticosteroid and a local anesthetic.

    To remove pain, analgesics are used. However, it is worth remembering the negative effect of such drugs on the gastrointestinal tract. Analgesic medications normalize the patient's ability to work. Patient with diffuse external otitis is required to prescribe vitamin complexes, adaptogens, dietary supplements to strengthen immunity.

    Read also, treatment of purulent otitis media.

    Otitis externa in children

    1. 1) If the first symptoms of a baby's illness appear, immediately show it to the doctor. Since the defensive mechanisms in children are not yet fully developed, illiterate treatment or its complete absence provokes complex diseases in the future.
    2. 2) Often often occurs in childhood due to a cold, adenoiditis.
    3. 3) The child's age of the child assumes the use of the same drugs as in adults. However, part of the drugs at this age is prohibited, this must be borne in mind.
    4. 4) By digging into the child's ears droplets, it is necessary to pull the auricle not back and top, as it happens in adults, but back and down.


    To avoid such an unpleasant disease as external otitis, you should regularly perform hygienic procedures. For example, many people prefer to clean their ears with cotton swabs, although their use injures the skin, "waxes" earwax.

    Therefore, you should clean your ears under the shower with soapy water. Many doctors-loras strongly recommend that you consult a doctor to remove sulfur plugs and foreign bodies in your ear!

    With regular hygiene, it is sufficient to remove sulfur accumulated in the ear, not deeper than 1 cm from the external auditory aperture. In addition, during bathing, you should cover the outer passage of the ear, protect your ears from water ingress. Because it can stimulate the development of the infectious process, use a rubber cap during swimming.

    Carrying out prevention, carefully considering your health, you can prevent such a disease as external otitis media. We wish you have healthy ears!

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