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Doctor insights on: Necrotizing Malignant External Otitis

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What is malignant otitis?

Severe Ear Ache!: Malignant otitis media is a term for a severe ear infection, manifested by intense pain --sometimes externa, due to swimmer's ear; or often a middle ear infection. If swimmer's ear, antibiotic drops plus oral antibiotics are needed. If only a severe middle ear infection then only oral antibiotics with pain management. Make sure to follow up to be certain of appropriate treatment! ...Read more

Malignant (Definition)

The term malignant can be used in several medical contexts, but is primarily used to describe cancers. More dangerous and disorderly than the benign growth of cells, malignant cells have developed genetic changes that can allow it to invade other tissues in an unregulated way. These tumors can later spread, or metastasize, to other parts of the body and ...Read more


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What is the lay term for "otitis externa"?

What is the lay term for "otitis externa"?

Outer ear infection: I would call it an outer ear infection or an ear canal infection. Also sometimes referred to as swimmers ear. ...Read more

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How long will dizziness last if you have otitis?

How long will dizziness last if you have otitis?

Not knowable: Generally dizziness will subside within a few days after otitis resolves. If it doesn't, reassessment is needed. ...Read more

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What are the symptoms associated with otitis externa?

What are the symptoms associated with otitis externa?

Otitis externa: Swimmer's ear. Very painful infection of the external ear canal with significant tenderness to touch/tug on ear cartilage. Canal will often close with swelling. Puss-like drainage is very common. Can be very concerning if untreated or in diabetics, with spread of bacteria to bone around the canal. ...Read more

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Otitis externa still not going away. What should I do?

Follow up: If you already have seen your doctor and were prescribed the right antibiotic ear drops, but it is not improving, you should go back to your doctor to get rechecked. ...Read more

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My husband's grandparent might have otitis externa. What is it?

My husband's grandparent might have otitis externa. What is it?

Swimmer's ear: Sometimes a small drop of water can get trapped behind a small piece of wax in the ear canal, either from swimming or bathing. Then, because it is a warm place, bacteria or fungus can grow causing pain and swelling, which can be severe. Ear drops and sometimes oral antibiotics and steroids are used to treat this condition. ...Read more

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Is there anything I can do to deal with the pain of otitis externa?

Is there anything I can do to deal with the pain of otitis externa?

Pain meds?: Have you tried some oral pain meds, like tylenol (acetaminophen) or ibuprofen? There are some ear drops that have anesthetic in them there are also ear drops with steroids, which work as an antiflammatory to help reduce pain and swelling. ...Read more

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