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This animation shows the symptoms and treatment of secretory otitis media.
otitis media, disease, ear infection, ear, pus, paracentesis of the eardrum, hearing loss, pain, symptoms, tympanic cavity, eardrum, outer ear, middle ear, inner ear, Eustachian tube, hearing, hammer, anvil, stirrup, bacterium, virus, human, biology
Infection and inflammation of the middle ear, known as Otitis media, is usually caused by bacteria and sometimes by viruses. The fluid and pus that collects in the inflamed tympanic cavity press against the cavity wall and the eardrum, causing a sharp pain. The tense eardrum is incapable of being properly vibrated by sound waves, resulting in muffled hearing. A middle ear infection can also cause dizziness and tinnitus, or ringing.
If not treated properly, the eardrum may rupture, possibly leading to a permanent loss of hearing. Proper medical care is therefore essential with antibiotics to kill pathogenic bacteria.
In serious cases, the only effective treatment is paracentesis of the eardrum, in which a small incision is made in the eardrum, permitting the drainage of pus from the inflamed middle ear. The tension of the eardrum, therefore, decreases, reducing pain. This incision heals quickly.
A middle ear infection may have serious complications when left untreated. It may spread to the inner ear, cranial bones or the brain, a development which may be life-threatening.
It is therefore very important to consult a doctor when we notice the first symptoms, instead of attempting home remedies.
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