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J Audiol Otol. 2015 Apr;19(1):34-8. doi: 10.7874/jao.2015.19.1.34. Epub 2015 Apr 17.

Clinical Differences in Types of Otalgia.

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1
Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Kyung Hee University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES:

Although otalgia is usually associated with ear problems, it may also originate outside the ear. We therefore assessed the clinical characteristics of patients with otalgia.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS:

We analyzed 294 patients who presented with otalgia. We assessed differences in otalgia between adults and children, differences in otogenic vs. referred otalgia between adults and children, differences between men and women.

RESULTS:

Of the 294 patients, 208 (70.7%) had otogenic otalgia and 86 (29.3%) had referred otalgia. Hearing disturbance and otorrhea were significantly more common in otogenic otalgia, whereas rhinorrhea, sore throat, and postnasal drip were significantly more common in referred otalgia. Children were more likely to have otogenic otalgia than adults. The proportion of patients with referred otalgia was significantly higher in adults than in children (p<0.05). Otogenic otalgia was more common in men, whereas referred otalgia was more common in women. Among patients with referred otalgia, neuralgia was significantly more frequent in women than in men (p<0.05).

CONCLUSIONS:

Otogenic otalgia was more frequent in men than in women and in children than in adults, whereas referred otalgia was more frequent in women and adults, indicating that types of otalgia were dependent on age and gender.

KEYWORDS:

Adult; Child; Otalgia; Primary; Referred

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