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Aural polyps

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An aural polyp is a growth in the outside (external) ear canal or middle ear. It may be attached to the eardrum (tympanic membrane), or it may grow from the middle ear space.

Aural polyps may be caused by:

Symptoms

Bloody drainage from the ear is the most common symptom. Hearing loss can also occur.

Exams and Tests

An aural polyp is diagnosed through an exam of the ear canal and middle ear using an otoscope or microscope.

Treatment

Treatment depends on the underlying cause. Your doctor may first recommend:

  • Avoiding water in the ear
  • Steroid medicines
  • Antibiotic ear drops

If a cholesteatoma is the underlying problem or the condition fails to clear, then surgery may be needed.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your health care provider if you have bleeding from an ear.

References

Chole RA. Chronic otitis media, mastoiditis, and petrositis. In: Flint PW, Haughey BH, Lund V, et al, eds. Cummings Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 139.

O'Handley JG, Tobin EJ, Shah AR. Otorhinolaryngology In: Rakel RE, Rakel DP, eds. Textbook of Family Medicine. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 18.

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  • Ear anatomy

    Ear anatomy

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    • Ear anatomy

      Ear anatomy

      illustration

     

    Review Date: 5/25/2016

    Reviewed By: Sumana Jothi, MD, specialist in laryngology, Assistant Clinical Professor, UCSF Otolaryngology, NCHCS VA, SFVA, San Francisco, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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