Draining mucus from ears: How to Relieve Painful Sinus Pressure
How to Relieve Painful Sinus Pressure
Your ear may feel congested due to sinus congestion, altitude changes, middle ear issues, wax buildup, and more. If you also experience pain, balance problems, or hearing loss, a doctor can help diagnose the underlying cause.
Ear congestion occurs when your Eustachian tube becomes obstructed or is not functioning properly. The Eustachian tube is a small canal that runs between your nose and your middle ear. It helps equalize the pressure in your middle ear.
When the Eustachian tube becomes clogged, you feel fullness and pressure in your ear. You might also experience muffled hearing and ear pain. These ear congestion symptoms can also be caused by problems in your middle ear or the ear canal that affects the eardrum (also called the tympanic membrane).
Any condition that affects your sinuses can lead to ear congestion, such as common colds, allergies, and sinus infections. Air travel and changes in altitude can also cause Eustachian tube dysfunction, which can cause symptoms of ear congestion.
Read on to learn more about what could be causing your ear congestion and how to find relief.
To treat ear congestion, you first need to identify the cause. The following are causes of ear congestion and their treatments.
Any condition that causes sinus congestion can also cause ear congestion. This includes:
- common cold
- sinusitis (sinus infection)
- irritants, such as tobacco smoke
Here are things you can do to relieve sinus congestion and related ear congestion:
- Take a nasal decongestant
- Blow your nose gently
- Use a nasal rinse or nasal irrigation system
- Use a humidifier, as dry air can irritate your nasal passages
- Avoid tobacco smoke and other irritants
- Drink lots of water, especially in the evening, to thin your nasal mucus
Getting water in your ear while showering or swimming can cause ear congestion. Try the following to get water out of your ear:
- Jiggle or tug on your ear lobe with your ear tilted toward your shoulder.
- Lie on your side with the plugged ear facing downward.
- Apply hydrogen peroxide ear drops and then lie with your ear facing down for a few minutes.
- Lie on your side and apply a hot compress for 30 seconds, remove for a minute, then repeat four or five times.
- Use over-the-counter ear drops that contain alcohol to dry out the ear canal.
Earwax is produced by your glands to moisturize and protect your skin. It doesn’t usually need to be removed from your ears unless it’s causing symptoms, according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery.
Here are ways to remove wax buildup from your ears:
- Soften earwax by placing a few drops of olive oil or mineral oil in your ear.
- Use over-the-counter ear drops or an earwax removal kit.
- Use an ear syringe with lukewarm water or a saline solution.
Allergies can cause ear congestion when mucus backs up and gets trapped in your Eustachian tube or middle ear. Taking allergy medications, such as antihistamines and decongestants, can relieve ear congestion and other symptoms.
The rapid changes in air pressure during air travel, especially during takeoff and landing, puts stress on your middle ear and eardrum. You can avoid or relieve airplane ear congestion by chewing gum or hard candy, swallowing, or yawning during takeoff and landing.
You can also try:
- The Valsalva maneuver entails gently blowing your nose with your mouth closed while pinching your nostrils. Repeat as needed.
- Wearing filtered earplugs during takeoff and landing helps to slowly equalize the pressure.
- Use an over-the-counter nasal decongestant spray 30 minutes before takeoff and landing if you’re congested.
Ear canal blockage
If you suspect that there is a foreign object inside your ear canal, do not try to remove it yourself. Instead, see your doctor right away or head to the nearest emergency department or urgent care center.
Middle and external ear infections
A middle ear infection can cause ear congestion, as well as dizziness, ear pain, and occasionally fluid drainage. They’re usually caused by colds or other respiratory problems that travel to the middle ear through the Eustachian tube.
External ear infections, also known as swimmer’s ear, are usually caused by water that remains in your ear after swimming or bathing, providing an ideal breeding ground for bacteria. You may experience pain, itching, redness, and clear fluid drainage or a discharge of pus.
Ear infections often resolve without treatment. Over-the-counter ear drops and pain medication can help relieve your symptoms. If your symptoms are severe or last more than two days, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics.
Though not as common, ear congestion can be caused by medical conditions, some of which are serious and can lead to hearing loss and balance problems. These include:
- Meniere’s disease. This is an inner ear disorder that causes severe dizziness and hearing loss. It’s more common in people 40 to 60 years old. The cause of the disease is currently unknown, but the symptoms are caused by fluid buildup in the labyrinths, which are compartments of the inner ear.
- Cholesteatoma. A cholesteatoma is an abnormal growth that develops in the middle ear due to poor Eustachian tube function or a middle ear infection.
- Acoustic Neuroma. This is a slow-growing, noncancerous tumor on the nerve that leads from your inner ear to your brain. Symptoms are usually subtle and come on gradually as the tumor grows, and may also include ringing in the ears (tinnitus), dizziness, and balance problems.
- Fungal infection of the external ear. Fungal ear infections are more common in people who swim often, live in tropical climates, or have diabetes or chronic skin conditions. There are more than 60 types of fungi that can cause them. Along with ear congestion, fungal ear infections can also cause ringing in the ears, swelling, pain, itching, and hearing problems.
- Serous Otitis Media. This is a type of middle ear disorder with a buildup of clear, or serous, fluid. It often also causes hearing loss. This type of problem is more common in children after they have an ear infection.
- Afflictions of the jaw joints (temporomandibular joints). The temporomandibular joints (TMJ) run along the sides of your jaw and allow you to open and close your mouth. TMJ disorders can cause symptoms that can be felt in the ears are usually caused by your jaw being out of alignment due to an injury, arthritis, or chronic teeth grinding.
See your doctor if your ear congestion lasts more than two weeks or is accompanied by:
- fluid drainage
- hearing loss
- balance problems
- severe ear pain
Ear congestion is common and can usually be successfully treated at home using home remedies or over-the-counter treatments.
8 Remedies for Sinus Pressure in the Ears
Why is Sinus Pressure in The Ears So Painful?
When experiencing pain and pressure in the ears caused by sinus congestion, there are many questions that may cross your mind. How do I make it go away? The cause of the pain in your ears is usually due to sinus pressure. This is because sinus congestion and stuffiness can affect the pressure in your ears. The pressure in your sinuses affects more than just your nose. It can also cause pain in your ears, dizziness, and the feeling that your ears feel stuffed up or clogged. The good news is, there are several remedies to bring you relief.
Here are some remedies for sinus pressure in the ears:
1. Over the counter decongestant
Nasal decongestants like nasal sprays, saline solutions, or tablets can help relieve sinus pressure and blockage. This helps to relieve clogged ears. If you use a decongestant, make sure to follow the directions on the medication.
2. Pain medication
Over-the-counter pain medication can also relieve pain associated with sinus pressure. Some medications to try for relief are Ibuprofen, Naproxen, or Acetaminophen. Speak with your physician or pharmacist for the best option for you.
3. Blowing your nose
By gently blowing your nose, it can help clear the sinus passages and bring quick relief. While blowing your nose, block one nostril, then change nostrils and repeat. This can help ease the pressure in the ears. Just don’t blow too hard or it may make you feel worse.
4. Saline Rinse
Nasal irrigation with a saline rinse helps relieve nasal congestion and ear pain by flushing out your nasal passages. There are several devices used for saline rinses including bulb syringes, squeeze bottles, Neti pot, and Navage Irrigation kits.
Try taking a steam treatment with a bowl of hot water and a towel. Put your face over the steaming bowl of water and drape the towel over your head. The towel keeps the steam in. The steam loosens mucus. Menthol, Eucalyptus oils, or Camphor can also be used in the water to assist in opening nasal passages. Steam from a hot shower can also help loosen mucus.
6. Hot Moist Washcloth on the face
By applying a moist warm washcloth to the face, it can provide relief to the sinus areas on your face and relieve pressure to the ears.
7. Drink Plenty of Fluids
Staying hydrated will keep your nasal mucus thin. Thin nasal mucus is easier to drain. Draining your nasal mucus will help relieve the sinus pain and pressure you are feeling in the ears.
8. Avoid fast movements and bending over
If you bend forward with your head down, it can make the pressure worse. When there is a build-up of pressure in the inner ear, fast movements such as standing up quickly or shaking your head can cause dizziness.
Bonus Tip for alleviating sinus pressure in the ears:
Avoid exposure to tobacco smoke, air travel.
Trying one or a combination of these remedies for sinus pressure in the ear should help bring you some relief. These simple sinus remedies can help alleviate the pain and pressure you experience in your ears. Just be aware that this could develop into a sinus infection.
If there is a persistent problem with sinus pressure in your ears, call (719) 867-7800 to make an appointment today with the ear nose, and throat doctor.
Discharge from the ear, or otorrhea
Tympanic membrane rupture
Discharge from the ear: the causes of occurrence, in which diseases occur, diagnosis and methods of treatment.
Earwax is a physiological secretion from the ear canal and protects the hearing aid from pathogenic bacteria. It consists of fat, fatty acids and fat-like substances, as well as various mineral salts. Normally, a person produces 15–20 mg of earwax during the month, which looks like a sticky yellow-brown mass. All other discharges are considered pathological and indicate ear diseases.
Types of discharge from the ear
The discharge may be transparent, white, light or dark yellow, greenish (in the presence of pus). If blood enters the ear secretion, the discharge becomes reddish or brownish in color.
The discharge may be watery in consistency, have a cheesy or flaky texture, and may sometimes form crusts.
An unpleasant smell of discharge due to the presence of pus in them can serve as a diagnostic sign.
What diseases and conditions cause discharge from the ear
Sulfur plugs . Excessive work of the sulfur glands leads to the formation of a sulfur plug. Most often, this problem occurs in patients with diabetes mellitus, metabolic syndrome, high cholesterol levels in the blood. The formation of sulfur plugs provokes an increased viscosity of sulfur, dry skin, small foreign particles (for example, industrial dust) entering the ear, as well as excessive hair growth in the ear canal. Often, sulfur plugs are observed in people involved in water sports, using hearing aids, miniature headphones.
With improper hygiene measures and independent attempts to remove excess earwax, there is a risk of pushing it deeper into the ear canal, thereby causing a plug to form.
Clinical signs of sulfur plug are pain and stuffiness of the ear, tinnitus, especially painful when sulfur comes into contact with the eardrum, sometimes headache, dizziness, nausea.
Mucopurulent and purulent discharge is a symptom of inflammation of the outer and middle ear. In inflammation external ear (otitis externa) pathological process can develop in the auricle and external auditory canal (up to the tympanic membrane). Most often, external otitis occurs against the background of infection of the ear with bacteria and microscopic fungi. Its first signs are, as a rule, pain in the ear, itching, less often – hearing loss and a feeling of fullness. Mucopurulent discharge appears only with a common form of the inflammatory process throughout the auditory canal.
The source of purulent discharge in the outer ear can also be a boil located in the shell or ear canal. With otitis media mucopurulent and purulent discharge results from infection of sterile effusion from inflamed ear tissues. Since the chamber of the middle ear is closed by the tympanic membrane, purulent discharge may appear in the outer ear only after the formation of a hole in it. This is preceded by severe pain in the ear, fever, hearing loss, and in children – overexcitation, sometimes vomiting.
When mastoiditis (inflammatory lesion of the mastoid process of the temporal bone), purulent discharge from the ear also appears. As a rule, this disease develops as a complication of otitis media and is accompanied by fever, soreness and swelling in the mastoid process behind the ear.
Clear bloody or purulent discharge occurs in acute infectious myringitis (inflammation of the eardrum), which may be of fungal or bacterial origin. Bubbles filled with blood form on the surface of the eardrum, which then burst. In addition to discharge, ear congestion is observed.
Transparent, colorless or slightly pinkish discharge from the ear may be the result of liquorrhea – the outflow of cerebrospinal fluid. It enters the auricle in case of skull fractures (usually temporal) due to trauma.
In addition, transparent watery discharge sometimes accompanies allergic otitis media , which is also characterized by other signs – itching, ear congestion.
Unaltered blood appears from the ear, usually after injury and rupture of the eardrum .
Such an injury can be caused by acoustic and mechanical shocks, as well as due to improper hygiene procedures. A ruptured eardrum is always accompanied by severe pain.
The appearance of bloody-purulent discharge from the ear is one of the evidences of the presence of a polyp on the tympanic membrane or mucous membrane of the middle ear . A polyp is an overgrowth of tissue in response to its irritation. The appearance of a polyp is preceded by active inflammation of the middle ear. In addition, polyps can be the result of myringitis, otitis externa, malignant neoplasms. Perforating the tympanic membrane, the polyp can protrude into the area of the external auditory canal, leading to hearing loss.
Insignificant secretions, sometimes forming crusts and having an unpleasant odor, are characteristic of cholesteatoma – a tumor-like formation formed from the epidermis of the ear canal. In most cases, cholesteatoma complicates chronic purulent epitympanitis and is formed from layers of keratinized epidermis, water, proteins, fats and cholesterol. The formation of cholesteatoma is accompanied by feelings of heaviness and fullness in the ear, headache. If left untreated, it can gradually invade the mastoid process and the cranial cavity.
At otomycosis loose curdled discharge is observed. The main culprits of the disease are molds (often localized in the outer ear) and yeast-like fungi (more often inhabiting the middle ear). Clinical signs of otitis externa in these cases include pain and colored cheesy-necrotic discharge from the ear. Patients complain of tinnitus and dizziness.
Discharge that contains large, fatty flakes, sometimes mixed with pus, is characteristic of seborrheic ear dermatitis . The disease can affect not only the ear, but also the scalp. Clinical signs are severe itching, swelling of the auricle, peeling of the skin and weeping wounds.
Clear discharge mixed with blood (sanitary discharge) indicates bullous or influenza-like otitis media . Bullae (vesicles with fluid) occur on the surface of the ear canal and eardrum. When they burst, the liquid with the ichor flows out through the ear canal into the auricle.
Which doctor to contact for ear discharge
In most cases, ear diseases are characterized by a clear clinical picture, which is based on pain. These patients are treated by an otorhinolaryngologist.
In the presence of a traumatic brain injury, which is accompanied by liquorrhea, urgent hospitalization is necessary. Otherwise, a poor prognosis is possible.
Discharge from the ear is not always accompanied by pain, in particular with allergic otitis, which is treated by
Diagnosis and examination of discharge from the ear
If wax plug is suspected, the doctor performs an otoscopy, during which an accumulation of wax in the ear canal is detected. Diagnosis of otitis externa and otitis media is carried out on the basis of patient complaints, otoscopy, palpation of the parotid region. It is recommended to sow discharge from the ear to determine the causative agent of the disease and its sensitivity to antibiotics. Perhaps an audiometric study.
Traumatic brain injury, which is accompanied by liquorrhea, is diagnosed using radiography and CT.
X-ray of the skull
X-ray examination of the skull to detect violations of the structure and integrity of the bones of the skull of various nature.
CT scan of the brain and skull
Scanning of the brain, skull and surrounding tissues, which allows diagnosing various pathologies.
To diagnose cholesteatoma and mastoiditis, the doctor performs otoscopy and radiography.
X-ray of the mastoid processes
X-ray examination of the mastoid process of the temporal bone to assess its integrity and identify other pathology.
If otomycosis is suspected, endomicroscopic (examination of the ear under an operating microscope) and microbiological examination of ear discharge using microscopy and culture are recommended. Diagnosis of bullous otitis media includes sowing fluid from the ear, audio and tympanometry, and radiation examination methods. It is also possible to use serological methods of blood analysis.
What to do if there is discharge from the ear
If clear discharge from the ear appeared after an injury, urgent hospitalization is necessary.
If there is an increased excretion of sulfur, you should seek the help of an ENT doctor who will recommend proper care and personal hygiene methods acceptable at home.
It is strongly not recommended to clean the ear canal with the help of items not intended for this purpose.
Treatment for ear discharge
If a sulfur plug is detected, the doctor removes it, after softening it with special preparations. Remove plugs by lavage or aspiration and curettage.
Irrigation is possible only in the absence of contraindications, which the doctor will definitely inform about (perforation of the tympanic membrane, otitis externa).
Treatment for otitis media may include pain relief, physiotherapy, and etiotropic therapy, depending on the causative agent of the disease. The allergic nature of ear discharge requires the use of antihistamines. Cholesteatoma is treated only with surgery.
- Clinical recommendations “Acute otitis media”. Developed by: National Medical Association of Otorhinolaryngologists. – 2021.
- Morozova S.V. Ear wax: topical issues of norm and pathology in clinical practice. breast cancer. No. 3 (II), 2018, pp. 53–57.
- Clinical guidelines “Chronic otitis media”. Developed by: National Medical Association of Otorhinolaryngologists. – 2021.
The information in this section should not be used for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. In case of pain or other exacerbation of the disease, only the attending physician should prescribe diagnostic tests. For diagnosis and proper treatment, you should contact your doctor.
For a correct assessment of the results of your analyzes in dynamics, it is preferable to do studies in the same laboratory, since different laboratories can use different research methods and units of measurement to perform the same analyzes.
Why fluid flows from the ear: the main causes and associated pathologies
- The main causes of fluid
- Types of fluid secreted
- How to remove fluid from the hearing organs
- Possible complications
- Purulent otitis media: symptoms, stages of development
- Acute otitis media in children
- How to treat purulent otitis media in adults
90 224 The main causes of the appearance of fluid
In the external auditory canal are located sulfur glands, which begin to work hard with increased physical exertion or under the influence of high air temperature. The result is an excessive discharge of a sticky brown substance from the pinna. This phenomenon is considered a normal reaction of the body, and all other discharges in the inner ear are associated with some kind of pathology.
The accumulation of fluid behind the tympanic membrane is due to an inflammatory process in the Eustachian tube or its blockage. This leads to a cold, allergic reactions, viral infections.
The main causes of fluid in the ear are the following:
- traumatic brain injury;
- otitis media;
- diseases of the respiratory system;
- seborrheic dermatitis;
- purulent inflammation of the tissues of the spinal cord;
- water penetration into the auditory canal;
- polyps in the inner surface of the auricle;
- purulent boils;
- ear barotrauma;
Complication after SARS
Fluid from the ear often occurs as a complication after an infectious disease. ARVI often leads to an inflammatory process affecting the ducts connecting the ENT organs.
If the inflammation proceeds in an acute form, then the body temperature rises sharply, a headache occurs, fluid begins to accumulate behind the membrane.
Discharge from the auditory canal often provokes otitis externa. Such a disease is often caused by water that has entered the organ of hearing, or various injuries of the auricle. As a result, inflammation occurs, pain appears inside the ear, an abscess develops. When opened, liquid leaks out.
Otitis media develops behind the eardrum. In the acute form, the temperature rises, hearing is impaired, fluid accumulates, severe pain occurs. After some time, the membrane breaks, and the discharge flows out.
Mastoiditis is a complication of acute otitis media. An infection from the tympanic cavity penetrates the mastoid process, provoking an inflammatory process. At the same time, the temperature rises, aches appear in the whole body, noise in the head, pus forms in the ear. If left untreated, purulent masses begin to flow from the organ of hearing.
A furuncle is an acute purulent inflammation. Often it occurs in the auditory canal and auricle. At the same time, hearing is sharply reduced. When the abscess opens, purulent masses begin to flow out.
Allergies and injuries
People who are prone to allergic reactions often report discharge from the ears. The reason for this is not the inflammatory process, but the increased production of mucus in the sinuses. A small amount of secretions through the Eustachian tube enters the middle ear and out from there.
Injuries to the ear often damage the eardrum. It may break or crack. This happens as a result of a strong blow to the auricle, due to a sharp pressure drop, a foreign body entering the ear canal. In this case, blood flows out of the ear and severe pain occurs.
If the skull is fractured where it connects to the spinal cord and spine, cerebrospinal fluid leaks from the ears.
Ear cholesteatoma is a tumor-like formation. It consists of cholesterol crystals and dead epithelial cells. There is a formation in the middle ear. After some time, an inflammatory process develops in the accumulations of dead cells, scanty purulent discharge from the ears with a putrid odor appears.
Types of secreted liquid
Otorrhea from the ear canal is classified by color, characteristic odor, consistency.
If the ear is leaking clear, odorless, aseptic or severe trauma. Otorrhea is not accompanied by pain. The cause may be:
- Otitis caused by a high concentration of serous condensate. Under its pressure, the membrane ruptures and the effusion flows out.
- Due to allergens, a scattering of bubbles filled with a clear liquid forms on the external ear canal, and when the membrane breaks, it flows from the ear.
- Fracture of the spine at the base of the skull or TBI, otorrhea indicates the exit of CSF through the auditory canal.
A possible cause of release may be sulfur plug, under the pressure of which the eardrum was perforated.
In the overwhelming majority of cases, otorrhea is an alarming sign that signals pathological changes in the state of the hearing organ. If yellow fluid flows from the ear, specialists most often diagnose a bacterial infection. The causes of the development of ear pathology can be chronic rhinitis, pharyngitis, tonsillitis, pneumonia, etc.
Important! Purulent processes in the mucous epithelium can cause irreversible morphological changes in soft and bone tissues, which is fraught with the development of auditory dysfunction and hearing loss.
See also: Ear hurts when pressing the tragus: what does this symptom mean?
Discharge from the ear with an unpleasant odor indicates the presence of pathological flora in the cavity of the affected ear. Inaction and untimely treatment of ENT diseases is fraught with damage to the inner ear and the meninges. The main causes of otorrhea include:
- purulent otitis is an infectious pathology characterized by lesions of the middle ear mucosa. Purulent discharge from the ear in adults indicates the occurrence of perforations in the eardrum and degenerative changes in soft tissues;
- otitis externa limited – inflammation in the hair follicle, accompanied by the formation of painful ulcers in the external ear canal. With spontaneous opening of the boil, an odorous liquid is released from the ear;
- chronic otitis media – sluggish inflammation in the tympanic cavity caused by staphylococci, streptococci, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, etc. During the period of exacerbation of catarrhal processes at the perforative stage of the development of pathology, purulent otorrhea is observed.
If a patient has an earache and a yellowish liquid with a putrid odor flows out, a visit to the otolaryngologist should not be postponed. Untimely relief of inflammation leads to the development of mastoiditis, brain abscess and sepsis.
The white color of the discharge, as a rule, indicates the course of the inflammatory process in the ear and the urgent need for antibacterial treatment in order to avoid serious consequences.
Black otorrhea is caused by an infection caused by a yeast or mold. Their waste products (metabolites) stain the natural color of the secretion black. Otomycosis can develop due to:
- purulent or chronic otitis;
- long-term use of drugs, drug dysbacteriosis;
- microtraumas on the epidermis of the ear canal;
- work in hazardous production;
- dermatitis of the ear canal.
Safe and effective remedies include the following:
- 2-3 drops of 30% propolis tincture, which has bactericidal and healing properties, are instilled into each ear canal. You can also soak a cotton swab in the solution and insert it into your ears for 20 minutes.
- Heat a small amount of salt in a frying pan, then pour it into a handkerchief. Apply through a towel to a sore ear.
- Freshly squeezed aloe juice is diluted with water in a ratio of 1:1. Buried 2-3 drops 1 time per day, not more often, otherwise irritation may occur.
- Mint decoction is prepared: 2 tbsp. l. herbs pour a glass of boiling water and add 0.5 tsp. honey. The agent is instilled 2-3 times a day, 4-5 drops.
- In 0.5 cups of water dilute 2 g of mummy, moisten a cotton swab in the solution and insert into the ear.
- 3-4 drops of psyllium juice are instilled into the ear canals. The procedure is carried out 2-3 times a day.
- Grind small beets on a grater and squeeze the juice through gauze. The liquid is instilled in a warm form, 2 drops 2-3 times a day.
Treatment with folk remedies should be carried out simultaneously with drug therapy.
Treatment of otorrhea
If there is fluid in the ear, treatment may include medication, physiotherapy, surgery. The main drugs prescribed for otorrhoea are described below:
Physiotherapy course is prescribed in the absence of purulent discharge and other contraindications. The therapy may include washing and blowing the ear canals, which help eliminate fluid and normalize pressure, magnetotherapy, pneumomassage, which relieve swelling and normalize blood circulation. Warming procedures (UHF, electrophoresis) are often prescribed.
The presence of water in the ear rarely requires the assistance of a surgeon. The operation is indicated for the development of complications. In such cases, tympanotomy is performed (the insertion of a shunt that promotes the discharge of fluid) or myringotomy (an incision in the tympanic membrane, freeing the passage for the outflow of purulent masses).
How to remove fluid from the hearing organs
Fluid that gets into the ear must be eliminated. The way to get rid of the pathological substance will be determined by the cause that caused the violation. If water has got inside the organ of hearing from the external environment, it is often possible to remove it on your own. Pathology associated with the course of any disease requires treatment under the supervision of a physician.
If water enters the ear from the outside, dangerous consequences rarely develop. Otorrhea, requiring medical interventions, can lead to various complications.
Prolonged absence of a treatment course may result in the development of meningitis, abscess. Ignoring the violation is fraught with partial hearing loss or its complete loss.
Purulent otitis media: symptoms, stages of development
The following signs are typical for the acute form of purulent otitis media:
- Pain syndrome . It is the main symptom of this pathology. The intensity of pain can vary from barely noticeable to unbearable. By nature – shooting, pulsating.
- Increased body temperature. This feature is quite common, but not mandatory.
- Discharge from the ear is a characteristic symptom of acute otitis media and is almost always present.
- Hearing loss – not a permanent symptom. It can be observed with otitis media and otitis externa, or it may be completely absent with one or another form of pathology.
If there is no hole (perforation) in the tympanic membrane in otitis media, pus does not leak from the ear canal. The flow of the secret is possible only after the establishment of a message between the middle and outer ear.
See also: Signs of a broken nose – how to identify
Acute otitis media has the following stages of development:
- Acute catarrhal otitis media . It is characterized by a strong pain syndrome, the intensity of which increases closer to the night. The pain can be boring, throbbing, stabbing in some cases (when sneezing, coughing, etc.), radiates to the teeth and temporal region. The patient has a decrease in appetite and hearing, a high temperature appears (up to 39degrees), general weakness.
- Acute suppurative otitis. There is an accumulation of purulent discharge in the cavity of the middle ear. On the 2-3rd day from the onset of the disease, perforation occurs, followed by suppuration. At this stage, there is a decrease in temperature and a decrease in the intensity of pain. If an independent rupture of the eardrum has not occurred, the doctor, using special tools, makes a small puncture.
- Recovery stage. It is characterized by the cessation of suppuration, while the hole in the eardrum closes (the edges are fused). Within two to three weeks, the patient’s hearing is restored.
Acute purulent otitis media
The causative agent of this form of otitis media is pathogenic bacteria that enter the tympanic cavity by the tubogenic route (through the ear canal).
In addition, the infection can enter the middle ear cavity when the eardrum is injured or through the wound of the mastoid process. Such otitis is called traumatic.
And, finally, the third way of penetration of the infectious agent into the tympanic cavity is hematogenous, that is, through the bloodstream. This is quite rare and happens with the development of certain infectious diseases (tuberculosis, measles, typhoid, scarlet fever).
In acute purulent otitis media pathological changes concern not only the mucous membrane of the middle ear, but also the adjacent periosteum. First, there is a release of an inflammatory fluid of a serous nature, which is subsequently replaced by pus. The mucous membrane thickens rapidly and erosion and sores appear on it.
At the peak of the disease, there is a complete filling of the tympanic cavity with purulent fluid and an enlarged mucous membrane. The accumulated pus puts pressure on the eardrum, causing it to bulge. If during this period the patient does not receive qualified assistance, perforation of the tympanic membrane occurs (melting of its area) and the contents of the middle ear cavity flow out.
Started treatment contributes to relief of the inflammatory process , while the amount of discharge is reduced, suppuration stops. The hole in the membrane overgrows, but the patient will feel stuffiness in the diseased ear for a long time. Hearing is gradually restored.
Acute otitis media in children
According to statistics, acute suppurative otitis media most often affects children. This is due to the structural features of the middle ear, which contribute to the rapid spread of infection from the nasopharynx into the tympanic cavity.
Child has a wide ear canal and short, besides it is located almost horizontally (in adults there are physiological curves). The middle ear cavity in young children consists of a special myxoid tissue with a loose, gelatinous structure, which creates favorable conditions for the development of the inflammatory process.
In addition to physiological features, there are also pathological conditions characteristic of children that provoke the development of acute otitis media. First of all, these are adenoid vegetations, in which Haemophilus influenzae and streptococci are often detected.
A child attending children’s institutions (school, kindergarten, sports club, etc.) has constant contact with and infectious agents. And if for one child this or that pathogen can turn out to be conditionally pathogenic and cause inflammation , then in another it can cause inflammation of the upper respiratory tract with the subsequent transition of the pathological process to the middle ear. Children quite often suffer from SARS. A complication of which can be acute suppurative otitis media.
Respiratory viral infections not only weaken the immune system, but also lead to changes in the mucous membrane of the respiratory tract, which causes an increase in its sensitivity to pathogenic microflora. In young children, transient immunodeficiency states are also observed, against which the development of acute purulent otitis media is possible.
How to treat suppurative otitis media in adults
Treatment of this pathology is carried out by the following methods:
- drug therapy;
- surgical intervention.
Drug treatment of acute otitis
The following remedies will help reduce pain in the initial stages of the disease:
- Otipax drops. Bury in the ear 4 drops 2 times / day.
- Paracetamol. Take one tablet 4 times / day.
- Tsitovich tampon. A gauze swab is soaked with a solution of glycerin and boric acid, then inserted into the ear canal for three hours.
- Ear drops.
It must be understood that the drops used before perforation of the tympanic membrane differ significantly from the drugs prescribed after it occurs. Before the occurrence of a membrane breakdown, drops are prescribed that have an analgesic effect. These include the following medicines:
- Otipax, Otirelax – phenazone and lidocaine;
- Otinum – choline salicylate;
- Otizol – phenylephrine hydrochloride, benzocaine, phenazone.
Ear drops, which include an antibiotic, do not make sense at this stage of treatment, since the inflammatory process takes place behind the eardrum, where the medicine cannot penetrate.
See also: Ear hurts: what to do for an adult at home, how to treat
After the formation of a hole in the membrane, painkillers can no longer be used, as this can harm the sensitive tissues of the cochlea. When perforation appears, access to the middle ear cavity is opened and the doctor at this stage prescribes drops with an antibiotic. It is strictly forbidden to use – medicines containing choline solicylate, alcohols or phenazone, as well as ototoxic antibiotics (neomycin, gentamicin, polymyxin B, framycetin).
The following antibiotic drops are used to treat acute otitis in adults:
- Normax et al.
Edema of the tissues of the ear canal is relieved with the following drugs:
In some cases, the following are prescribed for the same purpose:
The following antibiotics are prescribed for purulent otitis media:
- Amoxicillin with clavulanic acid – Flemoclav, Augmentin, Ecoclave;
- Amoxicillin – Flemoxin, Amosin, Ospamox, Flemoxin salutab, Ecobol;
- Cefuroxime – Cefurus, Zinnat, Zinacef, Aksetin and other drugs.
When complications of purulent otitis media are used, such drugs as Sparflo, Avelox. The course of antibiotic therapy should be at least 7-10 days.
All of the above medicines should only be used as directed by your doctor.
Surgical treatment of purulent otitis: tympanotomy or paracentesis
Surgery is indicated only in extreme cases, when other methods of treatment have not given positive results. The essence of the operation is the incision of tissues on the membrane.
In some cases, inflammation of the middle ear is treated with a minor surgical intervention – tympanotomy (or paracentesis) of the tympanic membrane. The need for paracentesis appears if there is no improvement within three days of antibiotic use.
The operation is performed under local anesthesia and consists in the fact that with the help of a special needle the doctor makes a small incision in the eardrum, through which the pus subsequently comes out. The flow from the ear soon stops and this incision is successfully overgrown.
Acute suppurative otitis media can be treated with physiotherapy, which consists of the following procedures:
- UHF of the nose;
- laser therapy;
- pneumatic massage of the eardrum.
Acute suppurative otitis: treatment in children
The main treatment for acute otitis in both adults and children is antibiotic therapy. The specialist prescribes the drug depending on the condition of the child, his age, the presence or absence of allergies to certain drugs, etc.
In combination with an antibiotic, the doctor may prescribe vitamin therapy, nose and ear drops, physiotherapy, as well as taking drugs containing lactobacilli or bifidobacteria.
Basic rules for the treatment of acute otitis in children
- A compress that will help to significantly alleviate the condition of the baby. However, this method cannot be used at elevated temperatures, as this threatens to rapidly increase the inflammatory process. If otitis is in a subacute phase, you can make the following compress: fold gauze in 4 layers, cut a hole for the auricle in the resulting napkin, moisten it in vodka and put it on your ear. From above, insulate with polyethylene, cover with cotton wool and fix with a woolen scarf (hat). Keep for about two hours.
- The child’s ear must not be cleaned with hard objects – this can damage the eardrum. Pus from the ear of a child is blotted with a napkin at the entrance to the external auditory tube.
- At the initial stages of the disease, vasoconstrictor nasal drops are used. Drops against purulent otitis are used only as directed by a doctor. It can be drugs such as Otinum, Garazon. Also, on the recommendation of a pediatrician, medicines based on paracetamol or aspirin are used to reduce fever and reduce pain.
- If there is suppuration from the ear and fever, do not use the blue heating lamp.
- Antibiotics should be given to the child exactly as instructed. They may be in the form of syrup, tablets or injections.
- In case of complications, the child is given pneumomassage of the ear and blowing procedure.
Treatment of acute otitis with antibiotics is a prerequisite, since such drugs contribute to the destruction of the main cause of the development of pathology – infectious agents. It is unacceptable to arbitrarily take medicines containing an antibiotic, as this can lead to an aggravation of the situation. Antibiotics are taken according to a certain scheme.