How to treat otitis?

Otitis among adults proceeds in standard alternating stages or phases. Otitis treatment must be discussed with an otolaryngologist and be based on the ORT examination showing a precise stage of the disease.

Most often an inflammation in the nasopharynx and nose can cause otitis. Otitis with effusion can develop as a result of a regular over-cooling (“ear cold”). As auditory tubes (also called Eustachian) open in the nasopharynx, an inflammation of nasopharynx mucous can affect their patency. Swollen mucous tube covers drastically narrow their hole and they stop to fulfil their main function – to bring air to the eardrum area from the nose and throat. When air stops to get to the eardrum, its pressure goes negative. It results in ear congestion and pain co-existing with rhinitis symptoms such as runny nose, sneezing, nasal voice.

These symptoms are typical for the first stage of acute otitis media – auditory tube catarrh (acute tubootitis, eustachitis). While examination an otolaryngologist sees swollen, inflamed tube torus, and an eardrum retraction – while an otoscopy. This is the very first stage of the process, no antibiotics are usually prescribed, however some nasal vasoconstrictor drops or sprays are required to recover the auditory tubes patency. There are also ear drops with antiseptics prescribed to prevent bacteria from growing and they also often contain some pain-relieving components.

With tubootitis left untreated, fluid consisting of blood plasma infiltration drawn from the vessels with vacuum power starts to build up in the ear. This fluid is a breeding ground for bacteria, they start to grow, accumulate, thus attracting leucocytes to the focus. The eardrum cavity becomes filled with suppuration – result material of the fight between leucocytes and bacteria. That’s how otitis media with effusion develops. Inflammatory changes start to build up in the blood. During an otoscopy, a doctor can see an evagination and redness of the eardrum, often a transparent suppuration level too. At this stage, antibiotics must be prescribed! Nasal vasoconstrictor sprays and ear drops must be also applied.

Sometimes there is so much suppuration, that it ruptures the eardrum and comes out of the external ear canal. In this case acute perforative otitis is diagnosed. The hole in the eardrum is almost impossible to heal on its own creating a way to bacterial flora intrusion into the middle ear cavity and leading to recurrences and chronicity of otitis with effusion. To avoid such complications an otolaryngology surgeon performs tapping or auripuncture to remove the suppuration from the ear with a syringe. A doctor can also purge the middle ear cavity through the same hole to speed up the healing process. While the needle hole will heal on its own.

External otitis

One must not confuse external otitis with otitis media. In case of acute otitis media the inflammation is located in the middle ear (it includes the eardrum with its walls and stapes, as well as auditory tubes), while in case of external otitis the external ear canal is inflamed. The inflammation might be both diffused and local.

A furunculus is a typical example of a local external otitis. It’s created as a result of microbes’ penetration into the oil glands, while promoters can include an ear canal trauma, diabetes, hypovitaminosis, work with lubricants. An external ear canal furunculus looks like an inflamed hot spot of erythema and induration above the healthy skin level. There might be a hair growing in the center of this lump. A furunculus breaks with suppuration in a few days. Furunculus in a face and ear areas can be dangerous and cause thromboembolic intracranial complications, so the blood viscosity decreasing medicine – aspirin, dipyridamole – is prescribed to prevent the complications during the period of furunculus breaking (unprompted or surgical). Drain sponges with antibacterial ointments and antiseptic solutions are applied to the ear canal.

Diffused external otitis proceeds when an infection propagates on the ear canal skin due to its trauma or continual irritation. Inflammatory fluid going out of the middle ear cavity in cased of otitis media and acute perforative otitis can also cause oozing lesion and irritation of ear canals. One suffers from itching, tickling in the ear, might have hearing problems due to formed scabs and narrowing of the ear canal.

Treatment of external otitis is individual for every patient. The first step is to eliminate causes of the disease if it’s diagnosed. It’s necessary to prevent a trauma to the ear canal skin. Then a doctor prescribes a corresponding treatment method based on an inflammation character – “soggy” or “dry”. In case of oozing lesion ear canals are cleaned with antiseptic solutions and dried. Scabs are softened with oil or Vaseline.

Antihistaminic drugs, vitamins, sometimes antibiotics are prescribed.

In our center we diagnose and treat all kinds of otitis both among children and adults. Highly qualified otolaryngologists examine patients using the latest medical equipment, while the treatment corresponds to the modern standards in otolaryngology. But it’s easier to prevent the disease, than to treat it, so don’t forget to keep warm and avoid getting cold, wear a hat in cold and windy weather, treat a runny nose in time to prevent otitis!

Schedule an appointment

Opening hours: Mon – Fri 9:00 – 20:00

Address: Minsk, Moskvina str., 4