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Acute Otitis Externa (AOE)

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Synonyms

Swimmer’s ear

Definition

Acute otitis externa (AOE) is an acute bacterial infection of the subdermis of the external auditory canal.

Etiology

The infection occurs more commonly in summer months, often in association with water sports, and is commonly referred to as “swimmer’s ear.” Predisposing factors, in addition to warmth and moisture, are micro-trauma from scratching or instrumenting the ear, preexisting seborrheic dermatitis of the ear canal, and alkalization of the external canal (Coffin 1963; Fabricant and Perlestein 1949). The most commonly recovered pre-therapy isolates are Pseudomonas species (most commonly aeruginosa), and Staphylococcus aureus. Less frequently, other gram negatives, especially Proteus sp. and Klebsiella, are encountered (Hawke et al. 1984; Roland and Stroman 2002).

Clinical Presentation

The principal symptom is pain, which is sometimes very severe. Pain is exacerbated by movement of the auricle or tragus which helps distinguish the pain of AOE from...

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References

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  • Fabricant N, Perlestein M (1949) pH of the cutaneous surface of the external auditory canal; a study of 27 infants, 44 children and 60 adults. Arch Otolaryngol 49(2):201–209

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  • Marple B, Roland P (1997) External auditory canal. In: Roland PS, Marple BF, Meyerhoff WL (eds) Hearing loss. Thieve, New York, pp 133–153

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  • Roland P, Stroman D (2002) Microbiology of acute otitis externa. Laryngoscope 112(7 Pt 1):1166–1177

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  • Roland P, Pien F, Schultz C et al (2004) Efficacy and safety of topical ciprofloxacin/dexamethasone versus neomycin/polymyxin B/hydrocortisone for otitis externa. Curr Med Res Opin 20(8):1175–1183

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  • Rosenfeld RM, Brown L, Cannon CR, Dolor RJ, Ganiats TG, Hannley M, Kokemueller P, Marcy SM, Roland PS, Stinnett SS, Witsell DL (2006a) Clinical practice guideline: acute otitis externa. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 134(4 Suppl):S4–S23

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  • Rosenfeld R, Singer M, Wasserman J et al (2006b) Systematic review of topical antimicrobial therapy for acute otitis externa. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 134(4):24–28

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Correspondence to Peter Sargent Roland M.D. .

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Roland, P.S., Kutz, J.W., Isaacson, B. (2013). Acute Otitis Externa (AOE). In: Kountakis, S.E. (eds) Encyclopedia of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-23499-6_563

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-23499-6_563

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg

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