Exostosis is seen mainly in swimmers and divers. Generally its presence does not preclude flying unless resulting in ear canal blockage or frequent infections. Surgical intervention is occasionally indicated.

Bacterial otitis externa can result in severe pain within hours. This is because the ear canal epithelium is adherent to the underlying firm structure with no room for swelling, resulting in increased tissue pressure. It may be accompanied by systemic symptoms and ear blockage. Candida and other fungal infections can also obstruct the ear canal and be complicated by bacterial infection.

An 'apparent' otitis externa can hide a middle ear infection or a cholesteatoma. Resolution of the infection and absence of middle ear disease should be ascertained.

Information to be provided

  • An ENT specialist report if the condition is recurrent or has not fully resolved.


These conditions may be considered as not being of aeromedical significance if:

  • There is no current infection, no middle ear disease and no history of recurrent infections.