The Normal Tympanic Membrane  
The Red Reflex

The Red Reflex

Description : The vessels of the deep external canal and tympanic membrane may undergo a reflex vasodilatation when the canal or tympanic membrane may stimulated.

These vessels may also become dilated and prominent during crying.

This vasodilatation should not be confused with the vasodilatation seen as a result of infection i.e. during an acute separate of otitis media.

The tiny vessels that run inferiorly along the handle of the malleus [the vascular strip] and the radial vessels that run across the surface of the tympanic membrane are not normally visible.

This patient has a normally prominent vascular strip.

This should not be confused with the early stages of an otitis media

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