Clinical Presentations » Otalgia
Definition ≡ Pain in or around the ear
Common. primary vs secondary otalgia.
- detailed history helps differentiate between primary vs secondary causes and narrows differential
- onset, duration, quality of pain
- associated symptoms in otologic (primary) otalgia: purulent otorrhea, decreasing hearing, previous ear surgery
- associated symptoms in secondary otalgia: voice change, mastication or swallowing pain, purulent rhinorrhea
- complete physical exam with a thorough head and neck exam including otoscopy (special emphasis on ear, upper aerodigestive tract, dental structures, neck and cranial nerves, TMJ)
- mild inflammation in external and middle ear do not rule out referred otalgia
Differential Diagnosis of Otalgia
Indications for Referral
- Any focal mucosal lesion, asymmetrical ulceration or masses in aerdigestive tract require further investigation and biopsy.
- Any focal neurological deficit noted during physical exam