Otitis externa, Symptoms and Treatment in Adults in the home

Otitis externa - a disease of the outer portion of the auditory organ which consists of a shell, the auditory meatus and the tympanic area. Inflammation in most cases occurs due to viruses and infections, but there are also other reasons.

Most often the disease appears with the onset of cold weather in the autumn and winter, and in summer, when it was open the swimming season. Often while swimming in lakes and ponds in the man's ears enters the water, which causes the development of otitis media.

What it is?

Otitis externa - an inflammatory disease of the external auditory canal. This pathology occurs in persons of all ages, but are most vulnerable to her children. In most cases, the disease is a consequence of inaccurate removal of ear secretions, as well as regular water from entering the ear canal.


According to statistics, about 5% of adults who are sick otitis disease becomes chronic. Climate high humidity greater effect on the appearance of the disease than the dry. With regard to children, the most vulnerable to the appearance of otitis media by those who are in the age of twelve.

Otitis media is divided into a limited (formed as the formation of purulent furuncle), and diffuse. In the second form of otitis externa often inflamed eardrum.

The most important reason to call external otitis is an infection of different species.

To infection has penetrated into the body, a little bit is enough to scratch or injure the ear. Also, if the auditory canal kept moist, it can lose its protective barrier and serve as input for the penetration infections.

Children suffering from eczema, is often subject to inflammation, because often resulting in peeling ear. Separate disposal of cerumen also serves as a risk factor for the occurrence of such an otitis. Another reason for the formation of one of the diseases include chronic otitis media, narrow auditory meatus, and diseases that are accompanied by poor performance of immunity (e.g., diabetes).

Symptoms of otitis externa

It should be noted that the hearing with otitis externa, is usually not affected. Only in very rare cases where a very strong swelling leads to a narrowing of the auditory canal, it can be lowered.

Specific symptoms of otitis externa in adults:

  • swelling of the skin of the auditory meatus;
  • pain when pressure is applied to the auricle;
  • pain may be aggravated by chewing well, sometimes itching;
  • redness auditory meatus;
  • nasal ear;
  • a slight increase in body temperature.

In adults, otitis externa is of two types: limited and diffuse. Origin manifested as inflammation of the hair follicle. And the second type - when the inflammation affects the entire ear canal. With limited otitis people can not even guess that he was sick, because then the main symptom is pain, which appears when talking or chewing.

Diffuse external otitis media is a bacterial, fungal and allergic, and it is caused by inflammation, which cause streptococci, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Candida fungi, Aspergillus. Streptococci enter the body through the micro-cracks in the skin, body temperature rises, the pinna becomes red.

Symptoms of otitis externa in this case: the pain and itching in the ear, can pus odor.


Symptoms of otitis externa are evident, so the diagnosis is simple enough statement. However, the diagnosis of the disease is necessary to provide medical advice, especially when it comes to a child, as an error in the self-diagnosis leads to damaging self-treatment.

The doctor to diagnose the disease is usually quite the history and physical examination. To clarify the diagnosis can be applied otoscope otomikroskopiya, tampanometriya, acoustic reflectometry, microbiological tests and other methods.

How to treat otitis externa?

The traditional scheme of treatment of otitis externa in adults:

  • antibiotics (only on doctor's prescription);
  • compresses;
  • ensuring free breathing nose;
  • vitamin therapy to strengthen the immune system.

By using antibiotics, the disease can be extinguished hearth, gradually relieve the pain. Almost all the drops and ointments contain painkillers components. If properly pick up and take antibiotics, in some cases it can lead to adverse effects associated with hearing impairment, or general condition of the body.

In adults, special attention should be paid to the treatment of otitis hygiene practices. They must be carried out in a specific pattern. At the wrong conduct can form cerumen in the ear (photo), and if you do not keep the ears dry, the moist environment can cause bacterial growth.

With limited otitis externa surgically removing furuncle may be applied to clean it to accelerate healing. Carrying out an operation on the 5th day when the abscess is ripe, with a scalpel in a sterile environment. Bandage, which will impose a doctor, the first day should be changed with regularity in 3:00.

If found some ulcers, this may indicate the presence of infection in the blood. Then the required intake of antibiotics as pills or injections.

To diffuse forms of treatment scheme is as follows:

  • antibiotics;
  • antihistamines for relief of swelling of the auditory meatus;
  • antifungal agents (in lesions ear fungus);
  • anti-inflammatories (diclofenac, Nurofen);
  • complex vitamins to strengthen the immune system;
  • drops with antibacterial components.

As additional measures for the treatment of otitis externa are used physiotherapeutic methods. UFO-terapiya- ultraviolet irradiation.

The procedure lasts 15 minutes for 10-12 days. UHF - the impact on the site of inflammation high ultratokov. Each session lasts about 10 minutes for 5-15 days. If left untreated, infection can spread to the middle ear and cause serious complications.


Prevention of otitis externa is as follows:

  1. First, you need to properly care for the ears. Use cotton swabs as possible but to introduce them into the ear canal for hygiene can be not more than 0.5 cm. Usually it is sufficient to remove the accumulated earwax just at the entrance of the ear canal.
  2. We do not recommend to remove cerumen and foreign bodies from the ear canal, it is better to entrust this procedure the doctor.
  3. It can not be used for cleaning ears sharp objects, as they can damage the skin of the ear canal and create a so-called gate for infection control.
  4. Necessary to protect the ears from the ingress of water during washing or bathing, especially in open water.

View photo.

Severe cases of otitis externa. Visible deep tissue damage, narrowing of the ear canal, and swelling of the pinna.



Most often the disease is allowed without any complications or difficulties. Obvious symptoms subside after 2-5 days of treatment, and after 7-10 d it comes a full recovery. sometimes require processing external auditory meatus physician to fully restore hearing.

Complications of this disease is relatively rare, these include cellulitis and lymphadenitis face. Possible spread of acute otitis externa in the ear, passing in chondrite, which is particularly common in patients with newly done piercing.

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