Acute suppurative otitis media

Acute suppurative otitis media (otitis media purulenta acuta) - is an acute suppurative inflammation of the mucous membrane of the tympanic cavity, in which to some extent all parts of the middle ear are involved in catarrhal inflammation.

This disease with some symptoms is similar to the common cold. So with otitis, fever and headache are also characteristic.

In addition, otitis often occurs simultaneously with colds. But there are other otitis-specific symptoms that indicate the development of an inflammatory process in the ear.

A cold can be "relived" without resorting to the help of doctors, but when signs of otitis appear, it is necessary to seek help from an otolaryngologist. Because if you do not start timely treatment of purulent otitis in adults, this disease can lead to a noticeable decrease in hearing and even cause meningitis.

The reasons

The cause of the disease is a combination of factors such as a decrease in local and general resistance and infection in the tympanic cavity. Purulent otitis occurs as a result of inflammation of the auricle, affecting the middle ear cavity, mucous membrane and eardrum.

The causes of the average purulent otitis media:

  • getting into the ear of bacteria, viruses, fungi;
  • complications of diseases of the nose, sinuses, nasopharynx;
  • severe ear bruise;
  • sepsis;
  • consequences of meningitis, measles, tuberculosis;
  • hypothermia

The most frequent route of infection is the tubogenic - through the auditory tube. Less commonly, an infection enters the middle ear through a damaged eardrum when it is injured or through a mastoid wound. In this case, talking about traumatic otitis media.

Symptoms of purulent otitis

There are several signs that help determine that you have just acute purulent otitis, and not another hearing disorder. But the main symptoms in various diseases of the sphere of otolaryngology usually coincide.

Traditional symptoms of otitis media:

  • throbbing pain in the ear;
  • ear pain;
  • heat;
  • chills;
  • noises in the ear;
  • Decrease in hearing.

These symptoms are characteristic of the initial stage of the disease, when inflammation becomes the cause of extensive suppurations. Usually this process takes 2-3 days. Next, acute purulent otitis media of the middle ear enters the phase of perforated damage to the eardrum, as a result of which pus flows out of the ear cavity to the outside through the opening in the membrane, and the patient is relieved, pain decreases.

The third stage is final, the body fights the infection, the inflammation gradually decreases, pus stops secreting, the eardrum restores integrity.

Signs of otitis media in a child

Each stage of the disease is characterized by certain symptoms.

Symptoms of purulent otitis in a child of the 1st stage:

  • earache;
  • heat;
  • hearing loss.

Symptomatology of the 2nd stage:

  • temperature decreases;
  • pain subsides;
  • hearing loss continues;
  • purulent discharge begins to go from the ear.

Symptoms of the 3rd stage:

  • temperature decreases;
  • the pain disappears;
  • hearing is restored;
  • discharge stops;
  • perforation of the eardrum is scarred.

This disease requires early diagnosis and antibiotic therapy.

Chronic suppurative otitis

This is an inflammation of the middle ear, which is characterized by a relapsing course of pus from the ear cavity, persistent perforation of the eardrum and progressive hearing loss (hearing loss can reach 10-50%).

This otitis is manifested by the following clinical picture:

  1. Persistent purulent discharge from the ear, with a putrid odor;
  2. Noise in the affected ear;
  3. Hearing impairment.

It develops with untimely or inadequate treatment of acute otitis media. It can be a complication of chronic rhinitis, sinusitis, etc., or a consequence of a traumatic rupture of the eardrum. The chronic form of otitis suffers 0.8-1% of the population. In more than 50% of cases, the disease begins to develop in childhood.

Chronic suppurative otitis media without bone destruction and complications can be treated with medical methods under outpatient supervision of an otolaryngologist.


Lack of appropriate treatment leads to irreparable damage to health. The consequences of otitis in adults are the result of a structural transition of further inflammation into the temporal bone or into the inside of the skull.

Complications may include:

  • violation of the integrity of the eardrum;
  • mastoiditis - inflammation of cells in the bone;
  • paralysis of the facial nerve.
  • meningitis - inflammation of the lining of the brain;
  • encephalitis - inflammation of the brain;
  • hydrocephalus - the accumulation of fluid in the cerebral cortex.

To avoid these unpleasant diseases, you need to know how to treat purulent otitis in adults.

Treatment of acute purulent otitis media

In adults, the treatment of purulent otitis media includes the appointment of such procedures and drugs:

  • antibiotics;
  • painkillers, antipyretic drugs;
  • vasoconstrictor ear drops;
  • heat packs (before the appearance of pus);
  • physiotherapy (UHF, electrophoresis);
  • antihistamines;
  • surgical cleaning of the ear canal from pus.

It should be noted that after the appearance of purulent discharges, in no case should warming procedures be done. In the chronic course of the disease, it may be necessary to puncture or dissect the eardrum.

How to treat purulent otitis in adults

Diagnosis is usually not difficult. The diagnosis is made on the basis of complaints and the results of otoscopy (visual inspection of the ear with a special tool). If a destructive process is suspected, a radiography of the temporal bone is performed in the bone tissue.

In adults, purulent otitis media requires outpatient treatment; bedtime is recommended at high temperatures in combination with fever. Hospitalization is required if the mastoid is suspected.

To reduce pain in the initial stages of the disease is used:

  • paracetamol (4 times a day, one tablet);
  • ear drops otipaks (twice a day, 4 drops);
  • Tsitovich swab (a gauze swab, propped with a solution of boric acid and glycerin for three hours is inserted into the ear canal).

To remove the swelling in the tissues of the auditory tube is assigned:

  • nazivin;
  • tizin;
  • Santorini;
  • naphthyzine.

Antibiotics used for purulent otitis media:

  • amoxicillin;
  • Augmentin;
  • cefuroxime.

If, after several days of treatment, the improvement does not occur or the phenomena are increasing, surgical treatment is performed, it is immediately indicated when signs of irritation of the inner ear or the meninges are observed. After paracentesis or self-perforation, it is necessary to ensure the outflow of pus from the middle ear: dry the ear canal with sterile gauze tampons 2-3 times a day or wash the ear with a warm solution of boric acid.



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