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From Mediwikis


  • Reduced hearing

Other features of note:

  • Ear pain
  • Drainage of fluid from the ear
  • Tinnitus
  • Dizziness
  • Vertigo
  • Facial nerve weakness
  • Headache


  • External Ear
    • Mechanical Obstruction
      • ceruminosis
      • foreign body
      • cancer (rare)
      • exostoses
    • Trauma
    • Congenital (eg stenosis, atresia)
    • Infection
      • Note in patients with diabetes or immunocompromised states, deep tissue infections causes Necrotising Otitis Externa, a possible fatal condition.
  • Middle Ear
    • Infection (eg acute otitis media, cholesteatoma)
    • Tumours (rare)
    • trauma
    • Eustachian Tube dysfunction (eg secondary to upper respiratory tract infection)
    • Congenital
    • Otosclerosis
    • Paget's Disease of the Bone
    • Osteogenesis Imperfecta
  • Inner Ear


Generally classified as either conductive or sensorineural:

  1. Conductive - typically due to a interference in the transmission of sound in the external or middle ear.
  2. Sensorineural - occurs due to pathology in the inner ear or auditory nerve/pathway.

Investigations Options

  • Otoscopy
  • Tuning fork test
  • Biopsy
  • Microbial swab of discharge
  • Audiometric testing
  • CT/ MRI head scan


  1. http://bestpractice.bmj.com/best-practice/monograph/434/overview/aetiology.html