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Etiology and diagnosis of external auditory canal inflammation

Updated: Wednesday, Aug 17,2011, 6:51:21 PM
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Inflammation of the external auditory canal is the extensive inflammation of the skin of the external auditory canal and subcutaneous tissue. It is clinically divided into acute and chronic types. Clinically, acute inflammation of the external auditory canal mainly manifests as pain of the external ear, red and swollen skin, even suppuration;chronic inflammation of the external auditory canal as itch of the external ear and pachylosis.

The incidence of the disease is higher, especially with the most onsets in the wet places of tropical and subtropical areas. In summer, chronic inflammation Of the external auditory canal is susceptible to acute attack.

The cause of inflammation of the external auditory canal is local infection of bacteria or virus. However, it is related to some inducing factors such as immersion of water, local skin injury, shortage of ear wax, drug stimulation, or allergic reaction.

The disease belongs to the category of "Erchuang"(otic sore) in TCM according to its clinical manifestations. Its external cause is wind and heat attacking the exterior and the internal cause excessive fire of the liver and gallbladder. When wind and heat stir up the fire and heat of the liver and gallbladder, fire and heat will rise to scorch the ear. When the state lasts long, pathogenic heat will harm yin, causing yin deficiency. In the case of yin deficiency, the hyperactive fire will rise to scorch the ear, giving rise to skin sore. This is the main pathogenesis of the disease.

Main points for diagnosis
Acute inflammation of the external auditory canal
Otalgia is marked and worsens when the patient masticates food and the ear is pulled.
The external auditory canal has diffuse red swelling with serous or purulent secretion.
The patient has fever. The fever is generally not high, possibly with aversion to cold and general discomfort.
Laboratory examination: Routine examination of blood sees elevation of total white blood cells and the proportion of neutrophil cells rises during the cell classification.
Bacterial culture of secretion inside the external auditory canal can find staphylococcus aureus, streptococcus, pseudomonas aeruginosa, and bacillus proteus, etc.

Chronic inflammation of the external auditory canal
The ear will itch and ache when the ear is picked.
The skin of the external ear has tumefaction, pachynsis, epidermal erosion, or a bit of thicker secretion, or attachment of squamous crust which has the tendency to bleed when it is stripped.

Tags: External-auditory-ca

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