Malignant External Otitis
External otitis is an infection of your ear canal (the tube that connects the outside of your ear to your eardrum). "Malignant" doesn't mean it's cancer, it just means the external otitis is very serious and can be life-threatening. It's serious because the infection has spread from your ear canal into the surrounding bone of your skull.
Bacteria (including MRSA) cause the infection
Although it's called "malignant," malignant external otitis isn't a type of cancer
If untreated, it can spread and can paralyze the nerves in your face so that you're unable to move parts of your face
Doctors treat malignant external otitis with antibiotics into your vein through an IV
Doctors will do a CT scan to look for infection in the bone around your ear. They’ll also take samples of tissue and fluid from your ear to find out what types of bacteria are causing your infection.
You may need to stay in the hospital at first. Doctors will:
Because the infection is in the bone, you'll need to get IV antibiotics for about 6 weeks. But after you start getting better, you can usually finish getting the antibiotics at home.