Malignant otitis externa
Encyclopedia Symptoms / / August 12, 2017
Alternative names: osteomyelitis of the cranial bones
Malignant otitis externa - is an inflammation caused by an infection or damage to the bones in the ear canal, and at the base of the skull.
Causes and risk factors
Malignant otitis externa is usually caused by the spread of an infection of the outer ear (otitis externa, or "swimmer's ear").This is a rare complication of acute ear, while more often "swimmer's ear" chronic.
Risks for this condition include:
- the weakening of the immune system.
Otitis externa is often caused by difficult-to-treat bacteria - such as Pseudomonas.The infection spreads from the bottom of the ear canal to the surrounding tissue and bone in the skull base.Infections and inflammation can damage or destroy bone.The infection can spread further and affect the cranial nerves, the brain and other body parts.
- discharge from the ear - yellow, yellow-green, with an unpleasant odor resistant;
- ear pain is felt deep
- hearing loss;
- itching in the ear canal or ear;
- trouble swallowing;
- weakness in the head;
- loss of voice.
necessary to consult a doctor if:
- face - Symptoms of malignant otitis externa;
- symptoms continue despite treatment;
- develop new symptoms.
necessary to address the emergency room or call the emergency services if the patient has:
- decreased consciousness;
- severe confusion;
- facial weakness, loss of voice, difficulty swallowing associated with ear pain or bleeding in the ear.
diagnosis of malignant otitis externa and
Your doctor will look into your ear for signs of infection in it's foreign.The whole head and a place behind the ear may be tender to the touch.Examination of the nervous system (neurological) may show that the cranial nerves are not affected.
If there is drainage (for bloody or purulent fluid from the ear), your doctor may send the fluid to the laboratory for sowing.The purpose of this analysis is to look for bacteria or fungi - usually the bacteria Pseudomonas
to look for signs of bone infection next to the ear canal, the following tests may be performed:
- CT of the head;
- MRI of the head;
- radionuclide scanning.
treatment of malignant otitis externa and
The aim of treatment is to relieve the patient from infection.Treatment often lasts for several months, because it is difficult to reach and treat bacteria infection in bone.
Antibiotics, which are effective against microorganisms, usually prescribed by doctors for long periods.They can be administered to the patient through a vein (i.v.) or orally.Antibiotics should continue to take up to scan (CT, MRI), or other tests that can show that the inflammation has decreased.Sometimes surgery to remove dead or damaged tissue (debridement) are not required in the skull.
Malignant otitis externa usually responds to prolonged treatment, especially if treatment is started early, on time.The disease may return in the future.In severe cases, it can be deadly.
Complications of malignant otitis externa and
- damage to the cranial nerves, skull, or brain;
- infection return even after treatment;
- the spread of infection in the brain or other parts of the body.
To prevent outer ear infection:
- dry the ear thoroughly - once it gets wet;
- Avoid swimming in polluted water;
- the application of paint or hair dye protect the ear canal with cotton or fleece (if you are prone to acquiring external ear infections);
- after bathing do compress the outer part of the ear 1 or 2 drops of a mixture of 50% alcohol and 50% vinegar in each ear, to help dry the ear and prevent infection.
Acute otitis externa can be cured completely.We recommend not to stop treatment earlier than do recommend a doctor.physician instructions must be fully reduce the risk of future development of malignant otitis externa.