Chronic Otitis Externa
Alternate Names : Chronic Outer Ear Inflammation
What are the treatments for the condition?
Treatment depends on the cause of the inflammation.
For chronic otitis externa caused by repetitive trauma,
treatment involves stopping the trauma to the ear canal. Persons
may be advised to stop using Q-tips, for example.
People with fungal forms need to have the surface of the
diseased skin removed. Ointments containing antifungal and
corticosteroid medicine may be applied to the ear canal. Other
topical types of therapy may also be used in some cases.
If the disorder is caused by chronic bacterial infections,
then antibacterial drops often restore the external canal to a normal,
If dryness is a cause, then several drops of baby oil in the
ear canal will help to keep the skin moist.
For the rare blocked ear canal, the scarred lining of the
canal must be removed and skin grafts placed to reline the bone.
What are the side effects of the treatments?
Side effects depend on the medicine used to treat the
underlying cause. Care must be used if ointment is applied into the
external canal, particularly if a Q-tip is used, to avoid perforation to
the eardrum and further trauma to the ear canal.
What happens after treatment for the condition?
Most cases of chronic otitis externa will completely resolve
with the right treatment. Some people continue to have a need for
regular medical management.
How is the condition monitored?
How closely the condition is monitored depends on the
intensity of the symptoms. A doctor should be
called if any acute symptoms, such as pain, drainage, or tenderness
of the ear canal, are present.