Otitis Media
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The disease causing the inflammation of the middle ear is termed as the otitis media. The meaning of the term is “inflammation (otitis in Greek) of the middle (media in Greek) ear”. The middle ear is that part of our ear that lies just at the back of the eardrums. Otitis media is the most common among all the causes of earaches in small children.

It can be either acute otitis media or chronic otitis media. The later is also popularly termed as the “ glue ear” because of the nature of the disease. Here the ear is filled with a thick sticky glue-like fluid that leads to the inflammation.

Otitis media is very common among children. This occurs at least twice or thrice a year and have been noticed to have accompanied viral or respiratory tract infections. Mostly the kids who are not yet seven years old are more prone to getting this disease. This is because of the Eustachian tube being not properly formed in the children. As the child grows, this Eustachian tube develops and changes its position, thereby lessening the frequency of the disease.

Types of Otitis Media

In accordance with the degrees of severity and the symptoms, otitis media can be categorized in the following types:

Acute otitis media:

Acute otitis media is the more complicated form of the otitis media and is caused by viral URI. When the middle ear is contaminated with bacterial infection causing puss formation, it is termed as acute otitis media of the bacterial origin. Bacterial otitis media can be caused by viral otitis media in a short span of time. This might not onle cause perforation in the ear drum and loss of hearing but also might lead to further complications like meningitis or mastoiditis.

The other forms of otitis media are:

Otitis media with effusion or OME

Chronic otitis media

Otorrhea

Causes of Otitis Media

Otitis media is such a disease that can either be caused by a virus or a bacteria., But whatever might cause it, it does not tale much time to pass on from one type of infection to another. The causes of otitis media differ somewhat from one type to another, but however, some general causes common to all are as follows:

Acute infection in the respiratory tract

Common cold

Drainage problem in the middle ear (for chronic otitis media)

Defects in the Eustachian tube

Blockage of the Eustachian tube due to enlargement of adrenoids

A particular pneumonia type, the Streptococcus pneumoniae

Haemophilus influenzae

Improper cleaning of bacteria from the middle ear due to tubal dysfunction

Moraxella catarrhalis

Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Complications of Otitis Media

Generally otitis media is a regular occurrence with the children and thy cure easily. But sometimes acute otitis media might lead to complications like meningitis or mastoiditis.

Symptoms of Otitis Media

The general symptoms of otitis media are as follows:

Pain in the ear

Fever

Tugging at the ear by children

Irritable

Loss of appetite

Problem in hearing

There might be puss discharge from the ear suddenly, and this might point towards the fact that the eardrum has been somehow ruptured and need immediate medical attention to avoid permanent hearing loss.

Diagnosis of Otitis Media

Diagnosis of otitis media is not very difficult as the symptoms are easily detectable, except for the fact that in very small children, theses symptoms might not be expressed properly. The doctor can be consulted to diagnose otitis media in such cases. The doctor might either diagnose otitis media from the symptoms and examination or from hearing loss tests.

Otitis Media Treatment

Once the disease is diagnosed, treatment can be given easily. The treatments for otitis media are as follows:

Antibiotics to cure the infections

Ear suction

Operation to drain the ear

Insertion of drainage tubes that are tiny in structure and are called grommets

Osteopathic and Chiropractic spinal manipulations

Homeopathic treatment

Eardoc treatment

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