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External Ear infections in diabetics- Challenges in management

Infections tend to occur more commonly and with more severity in people with diabetes than in non diabetics. Local and systemic im-munological defects are likely to be responsi-ble for high infection rates in diabetics. Hy-perglycaemia in poorly controlled diabetes provides a good environment for vast num-ber of microorganisms including bacteria, vi-rus and fungi. Moreover, active infection in diabetes poses difficulty in controlling diabe-tes, hence causing a vicious cycle of infection and hyperglycaemia. An infection, which is easily manageable in non diabetics may turn out be of a severity out of proportion than expected in diabetics. Incidence of certain ear infections like malig-nant otitis externa is disproportionately higher in diabetics and so is the difficulty encountered in managing these conditions. Also, as some in-fections in diabetics present in a subtle and atypical manner, prompt recognition of infec-tion followed by appropriate medical or surgical intervention is necessary.

Author(s): Vadisha Srinivas Bhat,Shubha P Bhat,Harish Rao, Satheesh Kumar Bhandary