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What causes otitis externa?

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Posted on Fri, 15 May 2015
Question: Swollen tragus. Extremely dizzy upon moving my head fast. No piercings in that area.
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Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
Seems to be Otitis Externa.

Detailed Answer:
Hi,

Thank you for your query.

1. A swollen tragus without any piercing will usually be due to an Otitis Externa (swimmer's ear).

2. Since you have dizziness, the ear canal and ear drum must be examined to see how deep the infection and inflammation is.

3. Surrounding structures in the tragal area such as the parotid salivary gland, jaw joint and lymph nodes must also be examined.

4. You should get this examined and get antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medication, ear drops, local ointments to relieve the swelling and prevent its spread. This is all the more important if any the symptoms worsen or if new ones develop.

5. If the infection spreads to the cartilage, mediation does not easily reach there due to poor blood supply. In such cases, intravenous medication helps.

6. A search for any cause decreasing your immunity should be made as this tragal swelling has happened without any piercing. Did you scratch yourself accidentally?

7. Upload a close-up image of both ears (for comparison) if you cannot get this examined soon.

I hope that I have answered your query. If you have any more questions I will be available to answer them.

Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Pradeep Vitta
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Answered by
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Dr. Sumit Bhatti

Otolaryngologist / ENT Specialist

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 2652 Questions

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What causes otitis externa?

Brief Answer: Seems to be Otitis Externa. Detailed Answer: Hi, Thank you for your query. 1. A swollen tragus without any piercing will usually be due to an Otitis Externa (swimmer's ear). 2. Since you have dizziness, the ear canal and ear drum must be examined to see how deep the infection and inflammation is. 3. Surrounding structures in the tragal area such as the parotid salivary gland, jaw joint and lymph nodes must also be examined. 4. You should get this examined and get antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medication, ear drops, local ointments to relieve the swelling and prevent its spread. This is all the more important if any the symptoms worsen or if new ones develop. 5. If the infection spreads to the cartilage, mediation does not easily reach there due to poor blood supply. In such cases, intravenous medication helps. 6. A search for any cause decreasing your immunity should be made as this tragal swelling has happened without any piercing. Did you scratch yourself accidentally? 7. Upload a close-up image of both ears (for comparison) if you cannot get this examined soon. I hope that I have answered your query. If you have any more questions I will be available to answer them. Regards.