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Here is a quick mnemonic “OTITIS EXTERNA to remember about Otitis Externa

This can be valuable for patients as well as medical doctors, nurses & students doing their clinical rounds. You can also find it very useful for med exams like USMLE, MBBS, NEET PG, FMGE, NExT, MCAT & NCLEX exams

Otitis Externa : How To Remember Easily ?

  • O – Otitis externa is an inflammation or infection of the external auditory canal manifesting as pain, redness, swelling, aural discharge, and hearing impairment.
  • T – Teenagers and Preteens: Otitis externa is most common among preteen and teenage children.
  • I – Infection: It is often associated with bacterial infection (frequently by Pseudomonas aeruginosa or Staphylococcus aureus), but fungi like Aspergillus or Candida can be implicated.
  • T – The Risk Factors: Risk factors for otitis externa include swimming (with the resulting condition referred to as “swimmer’s ear,” which is more common in the summer), mechanical trauma (from cotton swabs or hearing aids), narrow ear canals, cerumen obstruction, eczema, and psoriasis.
  • I – Inflammation: Physical exam is notable for pain on movement of the auricle or tragus and an external auditory canal that is erythematous, edematous, inflamed, and sometimes coated with exudate on otoscopy.
  • S – Swimmer’s Ear: Classic swimmer’s ear is associated with bacterial infection.
  • E – Ear Discharge: Fungal otitis externa often manifests with pruritus and ear discharge but without much pain.
  • X – (BLANK)
  • T – Tympanic Membrane Rupture: AOM with tympanic membrane rupture can be associated with ear discharge and debris in the ear canal but (unlike otitis externa) without sensitivity to movement of the auricle.
  • E – Ear Canal: The external auditory canal is affected in otitis externa.
  • R – Regional Lymphadenopathy: Preauricular, mastoid, parotid, or cervical lymphadenopathy may be present.
  • N – No Pain: Fungal otitis externa manifests with pruritus and ear discharge but without much pain.
  • A – Auricle: Pain on movement of the auricle or tragus is notable in otitis externa.


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