Hemorrhagic otitis externa digital illustration

Hemorrhagic otitis externa Save

ICD-10 code: H60.32

Chapter: Diseases of the ear and mastoid process

Hemorrhagic Otitis Externa: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Hemorrhagic otitis externa is a rare condition that causes bleeding and inflammation in the ear canal. It is also known as malignant otitis externa or necrotizing otitis externa. This condition mainly affects the elderly or those with weak immune systems. Hemorrhagic otitis externa can be a serious medical condition and requires prompt treatment.

  1. Causes: Hemorrhagic otitis externa is caused by a bacterial infection that affects the tissues in the ear canal. The bacteria responsible for this condition is usually Pseudomonas aeruginosa. This bacteria can enter the ear through a cut or injury in the ear canal or as a complication of middle ear infections. People with diabetes, weakened immune systems, and those who have undergone radiation therapy of the head and neck are at a higher risk of developing hemorrhagic otitis externa.
  2. Symptoms: The symptoms of hemorrhagic otitis externa include severe ear pain, discharge from the ear, hearing loss, and bleeding from the ear canal. The pain is usually constant and worsens at night. The ear may also feel full, and there may be a foul odor coming from the ear.
  3. Treatment: Hemorrhagic otitis externa requires immediate medical attention. The treatment usually involves a combination of antibiotics, pain relievers, and cleaning of the ear canal. In severe cases, hospitalization may be required for intravenous antibiotics and pain management. Surgery may also be necessary to remove dead tissue or to drain pus from the ear canal.

Prevention is key, and people with diabetes or weakened immune systems should take extra precautions to avoid ear infections. This includes keeping the ears dry, avoiding swimming in contaminated water, and using earplugs when swimming or bathing. People with diabetes should also keep their blood sugar levels under control.

In conclusion, hemorrhagic otitis externa is a serious condition that requires prompt medical attention. If you experience severe ear pain, bleeding from the ear, or discharge from the ear, seek medical attention right away. With proper treatment and prevention strategies, it is possible to manage and prevent this condition.