Assessing The Ears, Nose, And Throat
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Episodic/Focused SOAP Note Template
J, 11, Male, XX (Race)
CC: “Mild ear ache”
HPI: The patient is 11 year old XX male who presented himself with a mild right ear ache, which started two days ago. Associated symptom include possible fever, right ear pain, difficulty hearing from the right ear. Associated symptom are exacerbated with sleep.
Current Medications: Inquire if patient is currently taking any medications, rule out earring loss related to medication toxicity.
Allergies: Inquire about allergies.
PMH: Inquire if patient has a history of acute otitis media or underlying hearing loss. Inquire if patient has had tonsillectomy or an adenoidectomy in the past.
SH: Spends time in pool during summer.
FH: Inquire if family members have history of hearing loss.
- GENERAL: Possible fever. Inquire about patient’s swimming habits and ask if ear plugs used. Determine method of cleaning ear.
- HEENT: Right ear pain. Inquire if patient has tinnitus, discharge from ear, vertigo, or itchiness. Inquire if patient has a history of acute otitis media, hearing loss, vertigo, tinnitus, discharge from ear canal.
- RESPIRATORY: Inquire if patient has had post nasal discharge or sputum production and ask about color of mucous.
- ALLERGIES: Unknown
- HEENT— Assess outer ear and note surrounding tissue, shape, color, and any lesions. Assess the external ear for discharge or any odor. Assess for the placement of a foreign object in ear. Assess for tenderness on the outer ear near the auricle and mastoid. Tenderness could indicate a possible infection. Use otoscope to assess external and middle ear. At this time, assess for erythema, lesions, and discharge. Inspect tympanic membrane for perforations. Assess the frontal and maxillary sinuses for swelling. No tenderness or swelling over the soft tissue should be present. Assess tonsils and inside of mouth for lesions, erythema, and swelling.
- RESPIRATORY: Determine if upper respiratory infection is present, assess for clear lungs.
- Whispered Voice- Determines if patient is able to hear whispering. If they do not pass this test, hearing loss could be assumed. (Ball, Dains, Flynn, Solomon, Stewart, et al., 2015, p. 241).
- Weber Test- Determines unilateral hearing loss (Ball et al., 2015, p. 241).
- Rinne Test- Determines if the patient conducts sound better through bone or air. The patient should hear the sound conducted through the air twice as long (Ball et al., 2015, p. 241)
- Culture of ear fluid (Attlmayr, 2015).
- Otitis externa
- Often seen with individuals that swim. This infection is located on the outer ear. Pain is worse when an otoscope is inserted because sensitivity is on the outer ear. The outer portion of the ear is often inlamted and tender to touch. When inspecting the ear, the ear canal would appear narrow. Because of the narrowing, fluid is unable to drain from the ear (Rosenfeld et al., 2014).
- Otitis media
- Otitis media is a middle ear infection that usually presents unilaterally, hearing loss is present, and tympanic membrane is pink. Pus often forms inside the ear, which could cause perforation of the tympanic membrane. Ear pain, fever, difficulty hearing, irritability, and lethargy can also accompany this diagnosis. While examining the ear with the otoscope, erythema, dullness, decrease light reflex, and bulging of the tympanic membrane (Nash, 2013).
- Eustachian catarrh
- Often results after an upper respiratory infection. It would be essential to determine if the patient has has a recent upper respiratory tract infection. Fluid collects in the eustachian tube, which causes pain and trouble hearing (Nash, 2013).
- The growth of a skin tag inside the ear, behind the ear drum. The patient could be born with it or it can develop after several ear infections. It would be essential to determine if the patient has had frequent ear infections in the past (Chawla, Ezhil Bosco, Lim, Shenoy, & Krishnan, 2015).
- Mastoiditis is a common complication of acute otitis media. Pain, erythema, and tenderness are typically present alone the mastoid process (Attlmayr, 2015).
Attlmayr, B., Zaman, S., Scott, J., Derbyshire, S. G., Clarke, R. W., & De, S. (2015).
Paediatric acute mastoiditis, then and now: Is it more of a problem now?. The Journal
Of Laryngology And Otology, 129(10), 955-959. doi:10.1017/S0022215115002078
Ball, J. W., Dains, J. E., Flynn, J. A., Solomon, B. S., Stewart, R. W. (2015). Seidel’s guide to physical
examination (8th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby.
Chawla, A., Ezhil Bosco, J. I., Lim, T. C., Shenoy, J. N., & Krishnan, V. (2015). Computed tomography
features of external auditory canal cholesteatoma: A pictorial review. Current Problems In
Diagnostic Radiology, 44(6), 511-516. doi:10.1067/j.cpradiol.2015.05.001
Nash, L. (2013). A case study on prescribing for an acute ear infection in a child. Nurse Prescribing,
Rosenfeld, R. M., Schwartz, S. R., Cannon, C. R., Roland, P. S., Simon, G. R., Kumar, K. A., & …
Robertson, P. J. (2014). Clinical practice guideline: Acute otitis externa. Otolaryngology-Head &
Neck Surgery, 150S1-S24. doi:10.1177/0194599813517083