Middle ear inflammation, which starts with ear pain, causes hearing loss due to hearing loss in time, and is seen in winter. For timely intervention, it is important that families observe the symptoms and consult a specialist. ENT Specialist Assoc. Dr. Aras Şenvar and Op. Dr. Engin Çakmakçı's reviews.
Structure of our ears
Our ears; The outer ear formed by the auricle and the outer ear canal is divided into three parts as the middle ear, the snail and the inner ear formed by the semicircular canals between the eardrum and the inner ear. The sound waves collected by the auricle reach the eardrum through the outer ear canal. The membrane, which is activated by microscopic vibration, is transferred to the inner ear fluids by means of anvil-hammer and stirrup which are the smallest ossicles of our body. The specialized hearing cells in the inner ear convert the incoming mechanical stimulus into an electrical stimulus and send it to the hearing center in the brain. The middle ear is filled with air. It is vented through the eustachian tube which opens during swallowing and connects the middle ear to the nasal passage. Another job of the Eustachian tube is to expel the secretion of the glands in the lining of the middle ear. In this way, healthy hearing continues without accumulating fluid in the middle ear.
Causes of middle ear inflammation
The dysfunction of the Eustachian tube, which opens momentarily during swallowing, causes fluid accumulation in the middle ear. This condition is called serous otitis or serous otitis media. In this case, microbial growth is called acute otitis media or otitis media. It usually happens in the last period of an upper respiratory tract inflammation or after the day of the symptoms. Preparatory causes include the deterioration of the eustachian tube, which provides ventilation of the middle ear, the short and wide angle placement of the eustachian tube, especially in infants and children, the large and obstructive nasal flesh, and frequent upper respiratory tract infections. These are also the reasons why middle ear infections are more common in infants and children than in adults. Allergies, pressure changes during diving and air travel are also common causes.
What are the symptoms of otitis media?
Older children describe hearing loss as hearing loss, and infants have fever and restlessness. Anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea, ear discharge may be symptoms of tugging the ears in infants. The accumulation of fluid remaining in the middle ear after recurrent middle ear inflammation prevents hearing vibration, causing hearing loss. Children in this situation turn up the TV volume too much, if not allowed to sit very close to the television. He does not respond immediately to those who are told, or he does not pay any attention at all. Less interest in what the teacher says at school may fail in lessons. In this case, parents need to be very careful and have their children examined by an otorhinolaryngologist.
What happens during the treatment process?
ENT and Head and Neck Surgery specialist, if any middle ear problems, such as otoscope, forehead mirror and microscope using tools such as the necessary examination. The pressure in the middle ear is determined by the audiometry by tympanometry, while the function of the middle ear muscles is measured at high sounds. The aim of these tests is to measure the elasticity of the eardrum and its response to loud sounds. The factors that determine treatment include the frequency of infection and the duration of infection. In most children, medication and the elimination of risk factors are sufficient. In most cases, fluid accumulated in the middle ear disappears after two or three weeks following a middle ear infection. If the accumulated fluid becomes chronic, monitoring for up to months may be necessary.
Surgical treatment may be needed
If middle ear infection persists despite medication, surgical treatment may be necessary to improve the child's extreme condition, impaired general condition, prevent any head complications and correct hearing loss. In this process called paracentesis, in sterile conditions, a proper scratch is made on the eardrum and a hole is drilled so that the inflammation in the middle ear comes out and the decreasing pressure in the middle ear is equalized with the outdoor pressure. A tube is placed in this channel to prevent the opened channel from closing. Thus, the middle ear pressure remains the same as the outside pressure, even if the eustachian is clogged. Often the residence time of tubes that can remain in place for up to six to twelve months is actually related to the growth stage of the child. If the ear problems recur after the tubes have fallen, a new surgical intervention may be necessary.
If your child has undergone surgical intervention to treat middle ear inflammation, note the following:
• If the tubes are in place, the child's hearing improves. To get the best results, go for a check on a doctor-recommended date.
• After the first follow-up, go for a check every 2 months. If your child develops acute infections despite the tubes, the treatment process will develop faster and more smoothly.
• Use ear plugs to prevent your child's ear from coming into contact with water.
• Never allow your child to immerse in water.
• Do not allow your child to mix his / her ear with anything.
When to suspect?
• Middle ear infections are painful and cause insomnia.
• The skin color of children is redder than normal.
• The child is restless all day long and plays with a continuous ear. One can say that one ear makes a continuous sound.
• After repeated ear infections or upper respiratory tract infections, fluid builds up in the middle ear despite treatments. The disease is usually manifested in the form of increased TV sound, failure in school, communication, speech and pronunciation.
Reduce risk factors!
• If your child goes to a nursery or daycare center, he is at greater risk. Teach him to wash his hands. Wash her hands frequently during the day.
• Consult your doctor to determine what your child is allergic to.
• If your child has a tendency to allergies, protect her from dust or other allergies.
• Do not smoke at home and do not allow the child to come into contact with cigarette smoke.