121505 - The discharging ear. A good history tells the story
- : Online
This free online learning module includes 15 clinical questions and immediate feedback is provided. There is also an original peer reviewed article written for GPsRelevance to General Practice
- The discharging ear is a common presentation in general practice.
- It can represent a large variety of conditions that can occur in patients of any age group.
- Taking a history is an essential part of the assessment of patients with ear pathology.
- Common causes of purulent or mucoid discharge include otitis externa, a foreign body, a cholesteatoma or otitis media with perforation of the tympanic membrane.
- Clear discharge is an uncommon form of otorrhoea in general practice. Usually the history indicates underlying aetiology.
- Blood-stained discharge usually causes significant concern to the patient. It has a range of possible causes from more benign pathology such as acute otitis media to more serious concerns such as middle ear or ear canal tumours.
- Fractures of the temporal bone and skull base often present with blood-stained otorrhoea or haemotympanum.