The Use of Neomycin and Hydrocortisone in the Treatment of External Otitis

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EXTERNAL otitis has been widely discussed in the medical literature,1–6 but two primary questions concerning the disease have not yet been fully answered: 1) What is the causative mechanism? 2) What is the most effective treatment for resistant cases? The second question is the concern of this report, because we have encountered many severe and resistant cases of external otitis, and our current method of treatment has given uniformly satisfactory results in a series of 57 patients selected for this type of treatment. Some of the patients with recurrences of the disease previously had received most of the antibiotics and the accepted local types of therapy. We do not wish to infer, however, that the newer therapy represents a panacea for all types of otitis externa.

General Considerations

The term “external otitis” implies that there is inflammation of the external ear. Actually in most cases the inflammation is limited to the auditory canal and external meatus, but at times the conchal portion of the auricle or the entire pinna may be involved. The ear drum also may be inflamed or may be covered with granulations.

These external ear infections are universal but more common in the warmer and tropical climates. In the temperate zones, the incidence is high enough to make it one of the most common complaints seen in otologic practice. It is a disease of all ages but seldom occurs in the Negro race. The ear canals of Negroes are shorter, more straight and wider, and, therefore, . . .



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