Myringitis [Infectious]

Definition

Infectious myringitis is an infection of the ear drum that causes painful blisters. Pain occurs suddenly and persists for 24 to 48 h. This infection frequently causes temporary hearing impairment and a sensation of congestion and earache: hearing loss and fever suggest a bacterial origin. The condition is most often seen in children, but it may also occur in adults.

Cause

Infectious myringitis is a form of middle ear infection that is caused by the same viruses or bacteria that cause middle ear infections. The most common of these is mycoplasma, which often accompanies a common cold or similar infection like flu.

Cleaning your ear with cotton buds or similar items, suffering a head trauma, or regularly having water in your ears can make you more likely to develop Myringitis.

Symptoms

Most people go to the doctor after 2 to 3 days of their ear feeling bunged and a mild hearing loss. Other symptoms may include itching in the ear, pain, and a discharge draining from the ear. Pain usually lasts for 24 to 48 hours. The hearing loss usually disappears once the infection has been treated successfully.

Diagnosis

By examining the ear with an otoscope [specialist torch].

Treatment

Infectious myringitis is usually treated with antibiotics. These may be given by mouth or as drops in the ear. If the pain is severe, small cuts may be made in the blisters so they can drain. Pain-killing drugs may be prescribed, as well.