The human ear is divided into three parts, namely the outer, middle and inner ear. All these parts function in coherence with each other and help us in converting vibrations into sound and information. The middle ear consists of the air space between the inner ear and the outer ear and contains the bones that transmit the vibrations of the outer ear and translate them into information. This area is prone to infections, especially among children and thus may cause discomfort or pain.
Symptoms of middle ear infections: Middle ear infections primarily tend to manifest themselves as inflammation of the tissues and buildup of fluids. Some of the symptoms are mentioned below.
Infections in children: Middle ear infections primarily occur in children although it can occur in adults as well. Some of the common symptoms could be:
Causes of middle ear infections: The primary cause of middle ear infection is due to the presence of bacteria or virus in the area. The Eustachian tube, which runs from the middle ear to the back of the throat, is connected to nasal passages as well. Any infection that affects the throat or the nose may also affect the middle ear through this tube. Primary causes for the infections could be
Treatment of middle ear infections: Usually, middle ear infections resolve on their own within a day or so. You can try warm compress with a soft piece of cloth to ease the pain. However, if pain persists for too long then antibiotic medications may be required to fight the infection with pain relief medications to lessen the pain and discomfort.
Ear problems can strike any individual of any age, and be very troublesome. It can even impair normal life. However, children are especially vulnerable to these and all diseases because their immune systems have not developed to full strength yet. There are several kinds of ear diseases that may affect children.
Which is the most common type of ear ailment that affects children?
The human ear has the three parts: the inside, the middle and the outside. Children are most prone to acquiring diseases of the middle ear that can impede their hearing temporarily or permanently. The liquid is accumulated in this part of the ear in affected children. Along with mild deafness, related trouble like a pain in the ear may also be caused. Antibiotics are the most common treatment in these cases.
Symptoms: What gives away hidden ear disease in children?
Ear diseases are difficult to detect in children, as the middle ear is not visible with the naked eye, and children most often do not complain of pain there. These symptoms are helpful in detecting if there really is a problem-
• Pain in the ears
• The pain inside the head
• Liquid coming out of the ear
• Losing the will to eat
• Difficulty hearing
The most common childhood hearing ailments-
Following are the (hidden) ear diseases that affect the most number of infants and children-
• Acute otitis media - This is a severe infection of the middle ear, causing pain and irritation there. Fluid discharges are also common. The child should be taken to visit an Ear-Nose-Throat specialist. They will treat her/him with antibiotics, as the underlying cause is mostly bacteria.
• Otitis media with effusion - This occurs after an ear infection is generally over, and the child does not feel any discomfort. However, the doctor senses fluid build up and infections still present in the ear. This condition mostly heals on its own.
• Congenital hearing loss - The child may have been born with hearing loss. This happens if congenital hearing loss runs in the family, or if the mother had major diseases like diabetes. Another possibility for hearing loss is that the baby may have been born with disorders of the brain or the nervous system.
• Acquired hearing loss - The child may develop hearing loss in her/his lifetime due to reasons like chicken pox, influenza or serious damage to the head.
Hearing loss or ear diseases are somewhat common across age and generations of people, but they also can hinder your normal functioning. If you suspect your child has one, you should take her/him to a specialist immediately and try to test if she/he has any of the above disorders.
Balance disorder is more prevalent in old people, but they are not the only ones who are affected by it. There are many causes that can lead to balance disorder and some of them can be controlled. Balance problem causes spinning of head coupled with dizziness while standing or sitting, which can lead to an injurious fall.
The common symptoms of balance disorder include:
Otitis media or an ear infection which affects the middle ear, due to a viral or a bacterial attack. It is a painful condition that crops up due to fluid build-up in the middle ear. Since infections of this nature clear on their own, the treatment concentrates on pain management, and locating the underlying problem that caused the infection. Mostly, children under the age of 10 get affected by this condition. Persistent infections can lead to serious complications such as otitis media with effusion, chronic suppurative otitis media and chronic otitis media with effusion.
Causes of Otitis Media
Otitis media is the result of an infection caused due to a bacteria or virus attack. This condition is often triggered by underlying illness such as allergy, cold or flu. It causes swelling and congestion of the nasal passage eustachian tube and throat.
Role of Eustachian tube
The eustachian tubes are a couple of narrow tubes that run from the middle ear to the throat, behind the nasal passage. The throat end of the tube opens and closes, to perform functions such as regulate air pressure, refresh the air in the ear and drain the normal secretion from the ear. Mucus, swelling and inflammation in the eustachian tubes results in accumulation of fluid.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
The advent of new age antibiotics has led to an overall decline in the frequency of complications of diseases, and chronic suppurative otitis media is no exception to this. But there is still room for severe complications of the disease related to high mortality, and in most cases, extracranial and intracranial complications of acute and chronic otitis media are seen to be the root cause.
An overview of the complications of the disease
A chronic suppurative otitis media is a condition characterized by chronic inflammation in the middle ear cavity and mastoid cavity.
When the infection spreads from the ear and temporal bone, it leads to intracranial complications of otitis media. This may take place through three routes which include hematogenous dissemination, thrombophlebitis, and direct extension. On the other hand, extracranial complications are generally sequelae of the local chronic or acute complication. The complications of otitis media include-
The overall number of complications of suppurative otitis media has reduced to a great extent with the availability of effective microbial treatment options before which the incidence of mastoiditis needing surgical treatment was around 25 to 50 percent.
What are the reasons behind the complications of suppurative otitis media?
The risk of complications related to chronic suppurative otitis media can surge when an acute episode of otitis media persists for over 2 weeks or in case the symptoms recur within 2 or 3 weeks. Even though there is the availability of adequate treatment, an approximate one-third of individuals who suffer from meningitis tend to develop permanent neurologic sequelae. They may also develop seizures and other behavioral disorders.
What are the signs and symptoms of chronic suppurative otitis media?
Fever accompanied by a headache is the most commonly observed manifestations of complications of the disease. The complications associated with otitis media include fetid otorrhea, lethargy, severe otalgia, vertigo and alterations in status changes. According to experts, a high index of suspicion is imperative for diagnosing the actual complication of otitis media. The complications are normally associated with chronic and subacute infections, but acute otitis media remains the most frequently manifested issue. When there is meningitis in the setting of acute suppurative otitis media, it may indicate anatomic abnormality like Mondini malformation. The intracranial and extracranial complications are unique to each individual, and therefore, it needs to be dealt with utmost precision and expertise. Imaging studies such as CT scanning, MRI, and electrical excitability tests are required for discerning the issues concerning the health issue.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
You may find out that your child is suffering from hearing loss when he is born or he may be diagnosed with the condition later in life. Hearing loss in children is commonly caused by otitis media, birth problems and on the account of certain injuries or illnesses.
Signs and symptoms
The early stage symptoms of hearing loss in children are as follows:
No reaction to extremely loud noises
No response or reaction to your voice
The child makes some sounds, which taper off
The other symptoms which follow include:
He may pull and rub his ears.
He may act cranky constantly without any proper reason.
He might stop paying attention.
Low energy levels are indicated.
He may find it hard to follow directions.
He may ask you to increase the volume of the radio or TV.
Fever and ear pain are also likely symptoms.
Early hearing loss can affect your child’s language learning skills. If the problem is diagnosed and treated soon, the problem with language can be avoided. The method of treatment depends on the cause of hearing loss in your child and the severity of hearing loss.
The primary treatment methods of hearing loss in children include the following:
Watchful waiting: Sometimes, the condition may resolve on its own and the treatment involves simple monitoring of your child for positive changes.
Medicines: There are certain medicines for hearing loss in children, which may be prescribed by your pediatrician.
Ear tubes: Ear tubes may be recommended if medicines and monitoring do not work. The tubes allow fluid to drain and help in preventing infections. A minor surgery has to be undertaken on your child for getting the ear tubes placed. This will solve the hearing loss and other related issues.
Hearing aids: Hearing aids may be used to allow your child hear better. It is safe for children to use ear tubes after the age of one month. For the right hearing aid for your child, you need to consult a hearing specialist.
Implants: Cochlear implants are used to treat hearing loss in many children. These are electronic devices which are put in the inner ear to benefit hearing. These should be used only if hearing aids did not succeed and these are meant to be used only in case of children with serious hearing problems.
There are several other devices, which can help your child with hearing loss. For suggestions and recommendations, you must take your child to a hearing specialist.