DefinitionAn 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, incidence, and risk factorsAural polyps may be caused by:CholesteatomaForeign objectInflammationTumor
Symptoms Bloody drainage from the ear is the most common symptom. Hearing loss can also occur.
Signs and testsAn 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 medicationsAntibiotic ear drops If a cholesteatoma is the underlying problem or the condition fails to clear, then surgery may be needed.
Calling your health care providerCall your health care provider if you have bleeding from an ear.
ReferencesO’Handley JG, Tobin EJ, Shah AR. Otorhinolaryngology. In: Rakel RE, ed. Textbook of Family Medicine. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 19.Chole RA, Sudhoff HH. Chronic otitis media, mastoiditis, and petrositis. In: Flint PW, Haughey BH, Lund LJ, et al, eds. Cummings Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2010:chap 139.