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Benign polyp in the ear. Used steroid and antibiotic medication. Taking Ciprodex. Chances of permanent hearing loss?

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ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 1991
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My son has a benign (though not biopsied) polyp on left ear (eardrum, I think). He had one last year, ENT indicated usage of steriodal/antibiotic drops. However, issues continued after a brief reprieve. The polyp either never left, or has returned. Current treatment is Ciprodex 6-7 drops in the ear (leaving in to soak for 10 minutes) twice a day. ENT does not want to see him again, and did not answer many questions.

My questions - how do we KNOW if it heals after this treatment? Could he have hearing loss due to the fact that it might not have healed from prior treatment, and numerous recurrent ear infections? What if it doesn't heal?

Could he have permanent hearing loss? What is polyp does not heal (trying another round of steroidal/antibiotic ear drops x 10 days, plus ear plugs to prevent water in ear)?
Posted Sat, 21 Apr 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 11 hours later

Thank you for your query.

1. It is surprising why your ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) Specialist does not want to see him again. It is a relatively simple ear examination for follow up of the ear polyp.

2. Some ear polyps are the result of granulation tissue. Granulation tissue usually indicates osteitis which means that the infection or inflammation has invaded bone. Bone has a very poor blood supply; hence medication does not eradicate it easily.

3. If a grommet is removed (instead of extruding on its own), it usually results in a small perforation which may not heal. This would explain why the ear infections did not stop. Some ear polyps consist of middle ear mucosa prolapsing out of such an ear drum perforation.

4. Non healing polyps should be examined under the operating microscope and biopsied. To be absolutely safe, as this is many a times a blind procedure, it is advisable to get a (High Resolution Computerized Tomography) HRCT / MRI (Magnetic Resonant Imaging) Temporal bone Scan done before any biopsy to trace the origin of this polyp.

5. A PTA (Pure Tone Audiogram) will reveal any hearing loss due to the polyp and any due to previous infection.

6. You may share an image of the ear polyp taken with a video-endoscope. However, without the 'feel' during examination, it is advisable to go ahead with the above investigations.

I hope I have answered your query. If you have any follow up queries, I will be available to answer them.

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