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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Chronic Otitis Externa
      Category : Health Centers > Ears and Hearing Disorders

Chronic Otitis Externa

Alternate Names : Chronic Outer Ear Inflammation

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

Chronic otitis externa is a persistent inflammation of the ear canal.

What is going on in the body?

Chronic otitis externa occurs when there is persistent trauma to or inflammation of the ear canal. This can occur for different reasons, such as infection. This persistent inflammation can lead to symptoms.

What are the causes and risks of the condition?

Repeated trauma to the ear canal in the form of Q-tips, bobby pins, or other objects can alter the healthy skin replacement pattern of the ear canal. Fungal or bacterial infections on the surface of the ear canal skin can also be a cause. With fungal infections, the skin of the ear canal becomes quite thick, and when peeled off, there is significant redness of the underlying skin. In certain situations mold may form on the skin of the ear canal.

Use of some antibiotic eardrops that contain neomycin, can cause a chronic inflammation that can be similar to poison ivy. Therefore, these medicines need to be used with some caution. Excessive dryness of the ear canal can also be a factor.


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Chronic Otitis Externa: Symptoms & Signs

Author: Mark Loury, MD
Reviewer: Kathleen A. MacNaughton, RN, BSN
Date Reviewed: 09/08/02

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