The most important symptom seen due to otitis media is pain in the ear. Other important symptoms are redness and swelling of the middle ear. In some cases, hearing loss may develop or the eardrum may be punctured. If the eardrum is punctured, the inflammation inside flows out. Discomfort can proceed insidiously, without giving any symptoms. It can last for months or even years without any complications being observed in the patient. It is known that one out of every four children has had a middle ear infection at least once by the age of 10.
What causes otitis media?
Most middle ear infections occur when mucus forms in the middle ear due to an infection, such as a cold, flu, etc. If the mucus cannot be drained as a result of swelling in the Eustachian tube (a thin tube extending from the middle ear to the back of the nose), inflammation occurs and otitis media develops. An enlarged adenoid (soft tissue at the back of the throat, nasal flesh) can also block the Eustachian tube. The growth of the nasal flesh is reduced surgically if it has become chronic or causes frequent ear infections. Children at a younger age are especially vulnerable to middle ear infections. Because;
• The Eustachian tube is narrower in children than in adults.
• Adenoids in a child are relatively larger than in an adult.
What are the symptoms of middle ear inflammation?
Undoubtedly, the most common among the symptoms of otitis media is ear pain Decisively. Severe ear pain is frequent, especially in the acute period. These pains may be severe enough to wake the patient from sleep. The pain is often accompanied by fever and hearing loss. Due to inflammation caused by bacteria, the patient's eardrum swells and stretches, which increases the severity of pain. When there is a severe accumulation of fluid in the middle ear, the patient's eardrum may be punctured and bloody inflammation may flow from the ear. In this case, the pain disappears, as a result of which the regression disappears. At this stage, ear discharge is the most pronounced symptom. Symptoms of otitis media develop quickly and resolve within a few days. This condition is known as acute otitis media. The main symptoms include:
* High fever
• Don't feel sick
* Balance problems
* Slight decrease in hearing: When the middle ear is filled with fluid, hearing loss can be a sign of a condition also known as glue ear or otitis media with effusion.
• In some cases, the eardrum may be punctured and the fluid in the middle ear will drain. When the fluid that causes pain by causing tension in the eardrum drains, the pain disappears.
* Ear discharge: occurs when the eardrum is punctured.
Symptoms of otitis media in young children
Babies or young children cannot tell the source of their discomfort because they cannot communicate adequately. Therefore, some signs seen in them may be clues. Signs that a small baby has an ear infection include:
* Rubbing the ears, pulling or bringing the hands to the ear
* Poor nutrition
* Runny nose
* Symptoms related to hearing impairment, such as inability to react to slightly loud sounds or inattention
• Having problems with balance
How is otitis media treated?
Most ear infections heal within 3 to 5 days and no special treatment is needed. If necessary, antipyretic drugs are used to reduce pain and reduce fever. The treatment of severe otitis media is performed by a specialist by cleaning the inflammation on the inside of the ear. In addition, the patient is given various medications to open the nose and Eustachian tube. At the beginning of these drugs come sprays and antibiotics. Although antibiotics are not routinely used to treat middle ear infections, they can sometimes be prescribed by a doctor when symptoms are severe or do not go away. Surgical intervention may be necessary, especially in cases where the pain is severe. The eardrum is drawn under the supervision of a specialist, so that a hole in the eardrum is prevented from forming. However, it is necessary to take some measures to prevent otitis media, especially in infants. At the beginning of these measures, the baby should get enough sleep, pay attention to his nutrition, protect him as much as possible from air pollution and keep away from cigarette smoke.