Otitis externa in a tertiary hospital in the South-South region of Nigeria: a three year review


  • Matilda Uju Ibekwe Ear nose and throat surgery department university of Port Harcourt teaching hospital. Port Harcourt, Rivers state, Nigeria
  • Ijeoma Frances Adiekwue Ear nose and throat surgery department university of Port Harcourt teaching hospital. Port Harcourt, Rivers state, Nigeria




Otitis externa, Prevalence, Chronic, Acute


Background: Certain climatic conditions tend to favor the development of some ear infections and inflammations especially of the external ear. Otitis externa connotes the inflammation of the external ear and tends to occur commonly. This study is aimed at determining the frequency of occurrence, the type of otitis externa and management of patients seen in an ear nose and throat clinic in Port Harcourt.

Methods: A retrospective review of all patients diagnosed with otitis externa within the period of January 2017 to December 2019. The diagnosis was mainly clinical. The clinic registers and patient’s case files were the source of data. Data sought included demographics, clinical features, forms and management of otitis externa. Patients with incomplete data were excluded. Data extracted were then analyzed using IBM statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) 25 version. Results were presented in scientific tables and figures.

Results: There were a total number of 1296 of patients with otitis externa. Prevalence of otitis externa in the study was 28.77%. There were 54.2% females and 45.8% males with a ratio of 1.4:1. The age group 21-30 years was the age group most affected; n= 404 (31.2%). Chronic otitis externa was the commonest form seen; 74.8%. Unilateral affectation was commoner, seen in n=1073 (82.8%). Debris in the ear was found to be the commonest clinical feature followed by otalgia; 31.1% and 29.6% respectively. The treatment was mainly medical; comprising systemic and topical broad spectrum antibiotics, topical antifungal and steroidal drops, and aural toileting with wick dressing and analgesics. There were no major complications noted.

Conclusions: Otitis externa is common in the ORL clinic and the diagnosis is often based on history and physical examination. The chronic form is the commonest type encountered and treatment is mainly empirical.

Author Biographies

Matilda Uju Ibekwe, Ear nose and throat surgery department university of Port Harcourt teaching hospital. Port Harcourt, Rivers state, Nigeria

consultant ENTsurgeon, ENT surgery department.

Ijeoma Frances Adiekwue, Ear nose and throat surgery department university of Port Harcourt teaching hospital. Port Harcourt, Rivers state, Nigeria

ENT surgery department, university of port harcourt teaching hospital.


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