Author: Don Stader, M.D.
- Ear pain is a common complaint in adults and kids.
- A red, hot, painful ear with involvement of the pinna could indicate perichondritis – an infection of the cartilage that is usually caused by pseudomonas.
- A painful, swollen ear with involvement of the mastoid process could be mastoiditis, which needs to be treated with IV antibiotics to avoid cerebellar abscess.
- Ear pain with significant drainage and a cranial nerve deficit points to malignant otitis externa, which needs to be treated with IV antibiotics.
References: John W. Ely, Marlan R. Hansen, Elizabeth C. Clark. Diagnosis Of Ear Pain. 2008. American Family Physician.