Here is a quick mnemonic/memory aid “HEAR CLEAR to remember about the Differential Diagnosis of Otitis Media

H – Hypertension: Consider hypertensive crisis as a potential cause, especially in adults, leading to vascular changes in the ear.

E – Eustachian Tube Dysfunction: Keep in mind the possibility of dysfunction in the Eustachian tube, leading to fluid accumulation in the middle ear.

A – Allergic Rhinitis: Explore the connection with allergic rhinitis, as inflammation and congestion from allergies can affect the middle ear.

R – Referred Pain: Think about referred pain, particularly from dental issues or temporomandibular joint disorders, which can mimic symptoms of otitis media.

C – Cholesteatoma: Don’t forget about cholesteatoma, an abnormal skin growth in the middle ear that can cause ear pain and hearing loss.

L – Labyrinthitis: Consider labyrinthitis, an inflammation of the inner ear that can present with similar symptoms.

E – Eczema: Explore the possibility of eczema affecting the ear canal, leading to symptoms that may be mistaken for otitis media.

A – Acoustic Neuroma: Keep acoustic neuroma in mind, especially if there are associated neurological symptoms or unilateral hearing loss.

R – Respiratory Infections: Evaluate for other respiratory infections, as they can sometimes manifest with ear symptoms.

Dr. Arin Nandi

Passionate About Medical Science & Helping Future Doctors Achieve Top Ranks In Medical Exams. He is professionally a dentist as well as a public health expert from JIPMER (1), (2)working in health department