OUTER EAR INFECTIONS
Outer ear is the part of the ear constituted by the auricle/ pinna, external auditory canal and the outer surface of the tympanic membrane. Any infection involving these structures is known as the outer ear infections. These conditions are also known as otitis externa and are generally self-diagnostic.
Outer ear infections are most commonly found in swimmers and those who live in tropical and subtropical countries and sweat a lot. The water after swimming or the sweat leads to increased moisture in the ear and thus, creating favorable environment for the invasion and infection by bacterial, viral and fungal agents. The most common bacteria are Staphylococcus aureas, Pseudomonas and…show more content… Lets have a look at the common symptoms before proceeding to specific ones. Symptoms, which are found in all outer ear infections, are as follows:
This is the most common presenting physical symptom in almost every outer ear infection. Almost all patients complain of pain. The pain can be mild to severe and increases in intensity over a period of 1-2 days. Most characteristic feature of this pain, as opposed to middle and inner ear infections, is the increase in pain when the ear is touched or pulled outwards gently. This is not present in other ear infections. Slight pressure on the tragus (the jutting out part in front of the ear) also causes pain. The jaw movements may often aggravate this pain. Localized pain and tenderness is found furunculosis.
In certain advanced conditions like the necrotizing/malignant otitis media the pain may spread to other portions of the ear, temporal bone, mastoid and the head and neck tissues. It is an excruciating type of pain.
Intense itching is found in fungal and chronic bacterial outer ear infections. There is a strong desire to