Inspect the External Canal

Gently insert the speculum and inspect the external canal. The external auditory canal is 24 mm long in the adult and is the only skin-lined, blind-ended canal in the body. The canal follows a tortuous course from the external meatus to the tympanic membrane. The techniques previously described are used to straighten the canal. There should be no evidence of redness, swelling, or tenderness, which indicates inflammation. The walls of the canal should be free of foreign bodies, scaliness, and discharge. If a foreign body is seen,

Figure 11-16 External ear canal with large hematoma.

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