The ear is divided into Inner, Middle, and Outer ear. OTITIS MEDIA (Ot– Ear, Itis – inflammation, Media – Middle) The middle ear comprises of middle ear cleft, i.e. Eustachian tube, middle ear, attic, aditus, antrum and mastoid air cells. The eustachian tube connects the middle ear with the Nasopharynx (nose and mouth). Any infection of the nose can spread to the middle ear through the eustachian tube.
Acute Otitis Media is an acute infection of the middle ear and Eustachian tube. It can be caused by bacteria or viruses. It is more common in children and young adults. Majority of children will have at least one episode of a middle ear infection.
RISK FACTORS –
- Recurrent cold attacks, due to tonsils, adenoids, sinusitis, allergies.
- Fevers like measles, diphtheria, or whooping cough.
- Extra growths inside the nose
- Cleft palate – (split in roof of mouth)
CAUSATIVE ORGANISMS – common causative organisms:
- Streptococcus pneumoniae
- Hemophilus influenzae
- Moraxella catarrhalis
Why is Otitis Media more common in Children?
The structure of middle ear in children is different than that of adults-
The eustachian tube is more short, horizontal, narrow and soft which makes it easy for the infection from the nose to reach the ears.
Breast feeding or bottle-feeding infants in horizontal position causes milk to enter into eustachian tube and increase the risk of middle ear infections.
Discharge from ears
Otitis media resolves with correct treatment. If the causative organism is not responding to treatment or if the needed precautions are not followed the disease spreads beyond the middle ear.
- It can cause infection to the bones of skull
- Spread to facial nerves cause paralysis of face
- Infection can even spread to the brain and cause seizures
Clinical Examination using Otoscope of Pneumatic Otoscope shows a red, swollen ear drum
Tympanometry to measure air pressure and watch out for ear drum perforation
Hearing Test to rule out hearing loss
GENERAL MANAGEMENT –
- Avoid bottle-feeding infants in horizontal position or while lying down
- Treat recurrent cold attacks promptly
- Steam Inhalation and/or applying dry local heat helps relieve pain
- Good nutritional food and plenty of water intake to fight back the infection
HOMOEPATHIC MANAGEMENT –
The conventional antibiotic treatment of acute otitis media (AOM) faces several problems, including antibiotic resistance. Homeopathy has been shown to be capable of treating AOM successfully.
Homoeopathy treats the root cause of the complaint and helps the immune system fight back again the infection. This overall improves the child’s immunity for fighting infections in the future and avoids any side effects and complications.