Northside Health Library


Aural polyps

Definition

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

Causes

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 examination 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 medications
  • 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

Cummings CW, Flint PW, Haughey BH, et al. Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 4th ed. St Louis, Mo; Mosby; 2005.


Review Date: 8/3/2010
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; Seth Schwartz, MD, MPH, Otolaryngologist, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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