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About the Author More ArticlesAbout Brendan YoonBrendan Yoon is a high school senior at Beverly Hills High School in Beverly Hills, CA. Moisture in the ear (from swimming, showering, or other aquatic-related activities) along with the body’s natural heat creates an optimal environment for bacteria to grow; this is commonly also referred to as swimmer’s ear. Chronic Otitis Externa (COE): If left untreated, or treated improperly, AOE will persist and become chronic otitis externa.
Necrotizing Otitis Externa: Although quite rare, necrotizing otitis externa is the most severe classification of this condition and is typically seen in immunocompromised patients. Figure 2: Photograph of the external ear demonstrating crusting and flaking at the entrance of the external ear canal (left). An otolaryngologist (ENT) will usually be able to diagnose otitis externa based on the symptoms themselves.
Otitis externa treatment focuses on preventing progression of the infection, and treating the precipitating problem. More advanced cases of otitis externa and their complications are typically treated with intravenous antibiotics. Because people who experience otitis externa once are more likely to have it again, prevention is necessary. Symptoms of otitis externa include redness, itching, fever and a feeling of fullness in the ear. If you would like to speak with one of our physicians regarding this issue or another ear, nose, throat problem; or have other questions or concerns, please complete the contact form below or call us at 310-657-0123.


Use of the copyright symbol on this website does not limit or abridge the rights of Veterans, the general public, or the Government from non-commercial access to, and use of, the information displayed on this website. These patients’ symptoms typically begin with a sensation of pain and itchiness in their ear(s). The skin of the ear canal can become over colonized with fungal species that appear white (hyphae).
Necrotizing otitis externa destroys the tissues of the ear as it penetrates deeper into the skin.
Otoscopic examination of the external ear canal demonstrating redness and swelling consistent with otitis externa (right).
The doctor will examine the ear canal and eardrum using a simple, painless examination called otoscopy. It is designed to provide reliable medical information in a format that is easy to understand. BPV (also called Benign Positional Paroxysmal Vertigo [BPPV]) results when crystals in the canals shift into the wrong position.
He researched and wrote this article as part of the Medical Scholars Program through the Osborne Head and Neck Foundation. It can lead to sequela such as facial nerve paralysis, cranial nerve injury, meningitis, or other life threatening complications.
If the patient is immunocompromised or at increased risk of a fungal infection, the doctor will perform a special test called a gram stain to detect the presence of fungal species.


When caught early, it can improve within 2-3 days of proper treatment and be gone within a week. As Chief of Medical Resources, I hold an undergraduate degree in Neuroscience from the University of California, Los Angeles and a graduate degree in Medical Science from the University of Southern California. Depending on the cause, hearing can be affected (labyrinthitis) or can remain normal (neuronitis).
Ronen Nazarian is the Director of Otology and Hearing Disorders at Osborne Head and Neck Institute in Los Angeles, CA. Suspected cases of necrotizing otitis externa should be reported to an otolaryngologist immediately.
Treatment can be accelerated if the otolaryngologist first cleans out the ear of discharge and debris with suction or a curette. These patients should not insert anything into their ears to clean them, including cotton swabs, towels, soap or other similar objects. He is board-certified in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and has completed fellowship training in Otology and Skull Base Surgery.



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