The examination of the external ear
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1. Common methods The examinations is to observe the skin colour, flexibility and mobility of the auricle and the external auditory canal and to see whether or not there exist swelling, laceration, exudation, deformity, congenital preauricular fistula, etc.
The palpation of the swollen region may find whether or not the patient has tenderness and lump, and understand the hardness and mobility of the lump. These are very important for diagnosis. If there exists a lump in the external auditory canal, a probe may be used to palpate the hardness and observe whether there exists pain or not. Pull or press the tragus. If there appears pain, this is the sign of inflammation or boil of the external auditory canal. Palpation of the mastoidea and its surrounding areas may discover whether or not there are edema, tenderness and enlarged lymph node, etc.
The otoscope is needed in order or examine the external auditory canal and drum membrane clearly when the visual line is blocked by tragic or ear wax, etc. in case of the manipulative examination of the external auditory canal. The examinee doctor uses the frontal mirror to reflect the light onto the orifice of the external auditory canal. Select a proper-sized otoscope to be placed inside the external auditory canal. In the case of examination for an adult, the upper part of the auricle should be pulled posterosuperiorly; in the case of examination for a child, the lower part of the auricle should be pulled pssteroinferiorly so that the external auditory cannal will become straight for the convenience of observation. Pay attention to the size of the cavity of the external auditory canal, the colour and luster of the skin. If there exist ear wax, secretion or foreign object, they should be eliminated.
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