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Aural polyps

Definition

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

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Aural polyps may be caused by:

Symptoms

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

Signs and tests

An aural polyp is diagnosed through an examination 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 medications
  • Antibiotic ear drops

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

Support Groups

Expectations (prognosis)

Complications

Calling your health care provider

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

Prevention

References

O’Handley JG, Tobin EJ, Shah AR. Otorhinolaryngology. In: Rakel RE, ed. . 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 19.

Chole RA, Sudhoff HH. Chronic otitis media, mastoiditis, and petrositis. In: Flint PW, Haughey BH, Lund LJ, et al, eds. : Head & Neck Surgery. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2010:chap 139.

Encyclopedia content is provided as information only and not intended to replace the advice and instruction from your personal physician.