Myringitis is an inflammation of the eardrum due to infectious diseases of the ears and respiratory system. The disease is diagnosed mainly in preschool children and individuals whose professional activity is associated with a systematic stay at a considerable depth or height.

Pathology is preceded by the appearance of inflammatory foci in the region of the lungs, bronchi or ENT organs. Usually the prerequisites are:

  • bronchopulmonary diseases (pneumonia, bronchial asthma, obstructive bronchitis, pneumofibrosis, tuberculosis);
  • uncontrolled intake of medications that adversely affect hearing (antibiotics of the aminoglycoside class);
  • viral diseases (flu, tonsillitis, measles, rubella, rhinosinusitis);
  • closure of the auditory canal with a sulfur plug or foreign bodies;
  • constant listening to excessively loud music;
  • inflammation of ENT organs (otitis media, adenoiditis);
  • long stay in heat or cold;
  • ear microtrauma (blows, bruises, bites);
  • diving or mountaineering;
  • frequent air travel;
  • regular nosebleeds;
  • diseases of the brain;
  • damage to the auditory nerve;
  • avitaminosis.

The risk group includes:

  • representatives of professions involving a long stay in a hot room, at high altitude or depth: boiler workers, pilots, divers and climbers;
  • persons prone to respiratory diseases due to age: preschoolers, senior citizens;
  • residents of the northern and alpine regions.

The most common signs of myringitis are:

  • painful sensations when probing the affected area and pressing on it;
  • autophony (increased perception of one’s own voice), a feeling of congestion and noise in the ear;
  • ataxia (incoordination of movements);
  • dizziness, weakness;
  • hyperthermia, chills;
  • decreased appetite;
  • headaches;
  • insomnia.

The severity of symptoms depends on the severity of the pathology:

  • the first is characterized by a slight expansion of the capillaries on the surface of the tympanic membrane;
  • the second manifests itself in swelling and redness of the skin of the affected ear;
  • the third is accompanied by inflammation of the ear canal and the maturation of abscesses;
  • the fourth is accompanied by spontaneous opening of the abscess and the formation of fistulas.

By the origin and nature of the course, it is customary to distinguish 3 varieties of pathology:

  • acute begins under the influence of chemical, thermal or mechanical irritants; typical manifestations include dilated vessels of the tympanic membrane and the formation of purulent or bloody growths on it;
  • hemorrhagic arises under the influence of the influenza virus, a distinctive feature is the appearance of many vesicles filled with a mixture of sulfur, pus, blood and dead epithelial cells;
  • granulosa is caused by eczema and diffuse inflammation of the auditory canal, it occurs more often than others and quickly becomes a chronic form.
  • Myringitis in children

Infants and preschoolers are especially prone to the disease. As a rule, as provoking factors are:

  • ear injuries;
  • aggravated otitis media;
  • protracted episodes of acute respiratory infections and acute respiratory viral infections;
  • water getting into the ear when bathing;
  • viral, bacterial and fungal infectious diseases of the respiratory or hearing aids;
  • congenital anomalies in the structure of the auricle (aplasia, underdevelopment).

In babies from one to 6 years old, the symptom complex is similar to that of an adult. And the presence of pathology in a newborn or infant is indicated by such changes in physiology and behavior as: 

  • rejection of the breast;
  • vomiting and nausea;
  • temperature increase;
  • purulent discharge from the ears;
  • unmotivated concern.

Having found the listed symptoms, parents should urgently call a doctor.

Diagnosis of myringitis

To make a diagnosis, you should visit the otolaryngologist. After a physical examination, you will need to undergo a number of procedures:

  • Ultrasound, radiography, magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography of the skull;
  • general clinical, biochemical and bacteriological blood tests;
  • acumetry;
  • otoscopy;
  • audiometry;
  • endoscopy.

The examination allows to differentiate the disease with purulent, catarrhal and external otitis media, an ear canal boil and herpetic inflammation.

Possible complications of myringitis

Prolonged ignoring of the disease and the absence of medical intervention lead to dangerous consequences:

  • perforation of the tympanic membrane, followed by spillage of pus into the meninges;
  • paralysis of the facial nerve from the affected side;
  • hearing loss and deafness;
  • labyrinthitis;
  • mastoiditis;
  • sepsis.

How to treat myringitis

At the initial stage of pathology, it is enough to carry out drug therapy. Primary infection is neutralized with broad-spectrum antibiotics or antibacterial drugs. The work of the vestibular apparatus is normalized by vestibulolytics.

The ear is treated with antiseptic solutions, after which the ear canal is filled with anesthetic ointments. The pain syndrome is stopped with drops with anesthetic effect. The swelling of the auricle is removed by applying compresses.

Immunity is restored using diuretics and vitamin supplements. The patient is recommended to lie in bed and drink as many hot fluids rich in vitamin C as possible: fruit drinks, tea with lemon, heated compotes and a ginger-lemon drink.

In the treatment of advanced disease, various methods of surgical correction are used. Myringotomy excludes the possibility of rupture of the tympanic membrane and consists in piercing its wall to remove purulent masses.

With the suppuration of the temporal region, they resort to an anthrotomy. Under general anesthesia, the surgeon opens the mastoid bone and drains the wound.

From folk recipes are used:

  • congeal of Echinacea;
  • calendula oil;
  • Canadian yellow root.

Warming up the inflamed area is indicated only if there is no elevated temperature.

Prevention of myringitis

  • wear a hat in cold weather;
  • promptly heal respiratory and ear infections;
  • clean your ears of sulfuric secretion as needed;
  • do not allow injury to the eardrum: do not scratch it with nails and pointed objects;
  • avoid infection with seasonal illnesses: temper, quit smoking and alcohol abuse, get vaccinated in advance, take vitamin complexes and immunomodulators in the midst of colds, do not leave the house without a respiratory bandage.

How to prevent myringitis in children

  • once a week, gently wash your newborn’s ears with warm water and soap;
  • explain to your child as early as possible how to clean the ear canal, why you should not pick it with your fingers and stick it in
  • inside small toys;
  • from early childhood, teach your child to adhere to the principles of a healthy lifestyle: good nutrition, hardening, daily bath / shower, falling asleep and waking up at the same time;
  • so that the preschooler does not walk with his head uncovered when you cannot see him, let the child choose a hat of his own.

All information is for reference only and should not be a guide to self-diagnosis or self-medication!