An 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 factors
Aural polyps may be caused by:
- Foreign object
Bloody drainage from the ear is the most common symptom. Hearing loss can also occur.
Signs and tests
An aural polyp is diagnosed through an examination of the ear canal and middle ear using an otoscope or microscope.
Treatment depends on the underlying cause. Your doctor may first recommend:
- Avoiding water in the ear
- Steroid medications
- Antibiotic ear drops
If a cholesteatoma is the underlying problem or the condition fails to clear, then surgery may be needed.
Calling your health care provider
Call your health care provider if you have bleeding from an ear.
Cummings CW, Flint PW, Haughey BH, et al. Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 4th ed. St Louis, Mo; Mosby; 2005.
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; Seth Schwartz, MD, MPH, Otolaryngologist, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.