Which over-the-counter analgesics and topical eardrops are used to treat otitis externa (OE)?

Updated: Mar 09, 2020
  • Author: Ariel A Waitzman, MD, FRCSC; Chief Editor: Ravindhra G Elluru, MD, PhD  more...
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Most cases can be treated with over-the-counter analgesics and topical eardrops. Commonly used eardrops include acetic acid drops, which change the pH of the ear canal; antibacterial drops, which control bacterial growth; and antifungal preparations. Eczematoid (psoriatic) OE often responds to topical steroid drops but may be chronic or recurrent. The ear may require frequent suction debridement under a microscope. If significant canal edema develops, an ear wick may be used to facilitate delivery of topical medications into the medial canal.

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