A routine examination of a healthy individual with the Wispr digital otoscope reveals the following image. He has no hearing complaints. He has no ear pain. Which is true of this condition.
It is a benign growth of bone in the ear canal.
It is associated with being in cold water.
Otolaryngology (ENT) consultation on an urgent basis is needed.
It is usually bilateral.
Answer: 1. It is a benign growth of bone in the ear canal. The patient has an osteoma of the ear canal.
The patient has a benign growth of bone in the external ear canal (EAC). An osteoma is generally unilateral. No treatment is needed unless the growth is so large that it interferes with hearing. Compare an osteoma with exostosis.
Exostosis is generally found in individuals exposed to cold water for long periods of time. Exostosis is referred to as “surfer’s ear.” Exostosis is usually bilateral where an osteoma is generally unilateral. Exostosis has a more “broad-based” growth to the bone lesion whereas an osteoma often is pedunculated and with an isthmus at its base. In addition, the osteoma is often closer to the tympanic membrane (TM) while exostosis is further from the TM. Neither require treatment unless they become large enough to occlude the EAC.