oto-, ot-, -otic +

(Greek: ear; relationship to the ear)

A purplish rounded hard swelling of the external ear.
otiatrics, otiatric
The nature and principles of the medical treatment of the ears.
1. The medical treatment of the ears.
2. The art of healing diseases of the ears.
Referring to, or pertaining, to the ear.
otic barotrauma (s) (noun), otic barotraumas (pl)
A blockage of the Eustachian tubes between the middle ear and the pharynx: Otic barotrauma is a result of rapidly changing external air pressure, such as that which occurs during descent of an aircraft. This can cause ear pain, ringing, occasional dizziness, and diminished hearing.

"Eustachian tubes" are the passages, one on each side of the throat, which lead to the middle ear. The tubes open widely in the act of swallowing or yawning.

The opening into the throat is situated just behind the lower part of the nose, so that a catheter can be passed through the corresponding nostril into the tube for inflation of the middle ear.

"Valsalva's Manoeuvre", the pinching of the nose with the finger and thumb and attempting to blow hard through the nose, will usually relieve the blockage.

otic capsule
The cartilage capsule that surrounds the developing auditory vesicle and later fuses with the sphenoid (wedge-shaped) and occipital (back part of the head) cartilages.
Infestation by Otobius (spinous ear ticks).
Inflammation of the ear.
Pertaining to, or referring to, otitis.
Inflammation of the ear.

Depending upon which part of the ear is inflamed, there is

  • otitis externa (external otitis or "swimmer's ear" is an infection of the skin covering the outer ear and ear canal in which acute external otitis is commonly a bacterial infection caused by streptococcus, staphylococcus, or pseudomonas types of bacteria),
  • otitis media (inflammation of the middle ear which is an inflammation that often begins with infections that cause sore throats, colds, or other respiratory problems, and spreads to the middle ear), and
  • otitis interna (inflammation of the inner ear, or labyrinthitis, inflammation of the labyrinth, or the maze of canals in the inner ear which are in the portion of the ear that is responsible for sensing balance).
otoacariasis, parasitic otitis (s) (noun); otoacariases; parasitic otitides (pl)
An infestation of the auditory canal of cats, dogs, foxes, and other animals by auricular mites: Otoacariasis is an invasion of parasites in the ears that causes considerable discomfort and tenderness.

In extreme cases, parasitic otitides cause symptoms, such as loss of appetite, wasting away, and fits.

otoacoustic (adjective), more otoacoustic, most otoacoustic
Referring to the very faint sounds produced by the ear and thought to represent mechanical vibrations in the cochlea: To detect otoacoustic emissions, researchers insert a miniature probe, ­which looks somewhat like a hearing aid and that contains a sound source and a sensitive microphone, ­into the outer ear canal.

The human ear serves as both a detector and a generator of sound. Tiny hair cells in the inner ear convert incoming acoustic vibrations into nerve signals, but as the cells move in response to sound waves, they themselves produce faint sounds, which are known as otoacoustic emissions.

By listening to these feeble signals, researchers can study in remarkable detail how the inner ear works. Now, detection of these emissions shows promise as a means of evaluating a wide range of common hearing problems involving damage to hair cells.

The sound source generates either a click or a tone, and the microphone picks up the resulting ear-generated sound. In an ear with normal hearing, the faint output sound is nearly identical to the input sound.

This type of test may prove particularly valuable because many hearing difficulties involve damage to hair cells. Such damage can be caused by exposure to prolonged or excessively loud noises, various drugs, or bacterial and viral infections.

—Compiled from information located in
Science News by Brenda Lonsbury-Martin;
University of Miami (Florida) Ear Institute;
February 27, 1993; page 141.
Inflammation of the mastoid antrum (cavity in the petrous, or hard, portion of the temporal bone).
The presence of larvae and the characteristic spiny nymphs of Otobius megnini in the external auditory canal of cattle, horses, cats, dogs, deer, coyotes, and other domestic and wild animals.

They may remain in the ear for several months before dropping out to pupate and mature. Several records of human infection are known.

Spinous ear ticks of rabbits, of cattle, and other domestic animals which may attack the ears of humans.

Related "ear" word families: auri-; myring-; tympano- (drum, stretched membrane).