Test Your Knowledge: Otalgia in the Emergency Department

 Though the vast majority of conditions associated with otalgia are not life-threatening, there are nuances and controversies in the diagnosis and management of even the most common diseases, such as acute otitis media and otitis externa.

For more severe disease processes, such as necrotizing otitis externa, acute mastoiditis, and perichondritis, early recognition and timely management are paramount in reducing morbidity and mortality. A systematic approach to the evaluation of these patients is key to establishing an accurate diagnosis, identifying patients who are at high risk for dangerous etiologies or complications, and providing optimal patient care.

Our recent issue Managing Emergency Department Patients With Otalgia summarizes the most recent guidelines and presents a systematic, evidence-based approach to the emergency department evaluation and management of patients with otalgia. 

Test Your Knowledge

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Here are a few key points:

  • The ear has 3 cavities: the outer ear (pinna), the middle ear, and the inner ear.
  • The pinna is composed of avascular fibroelastic cartilage, except for the lobule, which is highly vascularized fibroadipose tissue.
  • Diagnosis of the cause of otalgia (primary vs secondary) is based on the anatomical location of the pathophysiology. 

Read the full issue and earn 4 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.

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