Otology History

As with all specialities a concise yet thorough history is paramount to ensure that no important information is missed. The format you have learned from day one enables this, however, taking a focused speciality history  requires specific closed questions.

 

There are five main otological symptoms to consider when taking an otological history:

 

1. Otalgia (ear pain)

 

S ite (Where does the pain originate. Is it definitely the ear?)

O nset (When did the pain start? Gradual or sudden)

C haracter (What is the pain like? sharp, dull, stabbing)

R adiation (Does the pain radiate anywhere?)

A ssociations (Any other symptoms associated with the pain – e.g. headaches?)

T ime course (Does the pain follow a pattern?)

E xacerbating/relieving factors

S everity         

 

2. Otorrhoea (ear discharge)

 

  • Colour

  • Contains mucus?

  • Offensive smelling

  • Volume +/- bleeding

 

3. Hearing loss

 

  • Duration

  • Side

  • Fluctuation

  • Onset

  • Frequency

 

4. Tinnitus

 

  • Pulsatile

  • Buzzing / hissing

  • Side (one side or both?)

  • Impact on life (sleep, concentration, irritability)

 

5. Vertigo / imbalance