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Aural polyps

 

An aural polyp is a growth in the outside (external) ear canal or middle ear. It may be attached to the eardrum (tympanic membrane), or it may grow from the middle ear space.

Causes

Aural polyps may be caused by:

  • Cholesteatoma
  • Foreign object
  • Inflammation
  • Tumor

Symptoms

 

Bloody drainage from the ear is the most common symptom. Hearing loss can also occur.

 

Exams and Tests

 

An aural polyp is diagnosed through an exam of the ear canal and middle ear using an otoscope or microscope.

 

Treatment

 

Treatment depends on the underlying cause. Your doctor may first recommend:

  • Avoiding water in the ear
  • Steroid medicines
  • Antibiotic ear drops

If a cholesteatoma is the underlying problem or the condition fails to clear, then surgery may be needed.

 

When to Contact a Medical Professional

 

Call your health care provider if you have bleeding from an ear.

 

 

References

Chole RA. Chronic otitis media, mastoiditis, and petrositis. In: Flint PW, Haughey BH, Lund V, et al, eds. Cummings Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 139.

O'Handley JG, Tobin EJ, Shah AR. Otorhinolaryngology In: Rakel RE, Rakel DP, eds. Textbook of Family Medicine. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 18.

 
  • Ear anatomy

    Ear anatomy - illustration

    The ear consists of external, middle, and inner structures. The eardrum and the 3 tiny bones conduct sound from the eardrum to the cochlea.

    Ear anatomy

    illustration

    • Ear anatomy

      Ear anatomy - illustration

      The ear consists of external, middle, and inner structures. The eardrum and the 3 tiny bones conduct sound from the eardrum to the cochlea.

      Ear anatomy

      illustration

    A Closer Look

     

      Self Care

       

        Tests for Aural polyps

         

           

          Review Date: 5/25/2016

          Reviewed By: Sumana Jothi, MD, specialist in laryngology, Assistant Clinical Professor, UCSF Otolaryngology, NCHCS VA, SFVA, San Francisco, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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