Symptoms and causes of otitis media in adults

Otitis is an inflammatory process in the auricle, accompanied by pain and swelling. There can be inflammation for various reasons, often otitis becomes a complication in various colds and infectious diseases. You should be aware of the symptoms of otitis in adults, in order to identify the problem in time and begin treatment.

  • Types of disease
  • Causes
  • Effects
  • Symptoms
  • Diagnostics
  • How to treat otitis media?
  • Treatment with folk remedies
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Types of disease

The severity of the disease depends on the extent of infection and resistance of the body. Most often, otitis occurs in preschool children due to weak immunity, but an adult can also get sick. Otitis can be divided into several groups depending on the place where inflammation develops:

  1. External otitis media. Most often occurs due to an ear injury, it also occurs in swimmers, inflammation develops due to an infection that comes from outside. With timely treatment, it does not reach the middle ear, a furuncle is formed from the outside.
  2. Otitis media. The most common variant of an inflammatory disease, the infection spreads inside the cavities of the middle ear. The average otitis can be acute and chronic, without proper treatment it goes into a chronic form.
  3. Internal otitis media. With internal otitis, the infection extends beyond the middle ear. It goes to the bones, in this state the infection threatens to get closer to the brain and the development of a dangerous abscess.

Acute middle ear disease can go to purulent otitis in adults, which is especially dangerous, when it occurs, urgent medical attention is required. The pus that accumulates in the ear cavities can not exit by itself, usually surgical intervention is required. After surgical intervention a scar on the tympanic membrane is formed, as a result of which hearing may decrease.

Therefore, it is dangerous to leave the otitis without timely treatment, it can lead to serious consequences that significantly reduce the quality of life. To date, there are enough techniques to quickly and effectively get rid of an inflammatory disease.


Otitis usually develops as a complication in various infectious diseases of the respiratory tract. Infection can penetrate into the ear cavity from the nose in inflammatory diseases of the sinuses, with severe colds. This is the main cause of otitis media.

In addition to infectious diseases of the throat and nose to inflammation in the ear can lead to various mechanical injuries. Also, otitis often occurs in swimmers due to the ingress of dirty water into the ear cavity.

Sometimes the reasons for the development of otitis include hypothermia, especially for people with low immunity in the cold season.

Important!The tendency to otitis occurs in people with a curved nasal septum.


Inflammation in the ear can lead to various complications, they usually occur if the treatment is not started on time. The main problem is that not always otitis occurs immediately, in some cases its symptoms are ignored or simply not strongly pronounced. Thus, you can lose time, the disease will move into a severe chronic form.

When purulent otitis occurs accumulation of exudate in the internal structure of the ear, purulent discharge can spread beyond it, resulting in the following complications:

  • meningitis and other inflammatory diseases of the brain develop most often if treatment has not been started on time;
  • paresis, damage to the facial nerve;
  • ruptures of the tympanic membrane, pouring of purulent exudate;
  • inflammation of the mastoid process, which can lead to damage to the auditory ossicles;
  • various hearing impairments, hearing loss, in severe cases, a complete loss of auditory perception may occur.

These are the main complications of the disease itself. Treatment in the advanced stages of the disease also goes through with some consequences. In surgical intervention, the puncture of the tympanic membrane is done to remove purulent contents, a scar is subsequently formed in its place, which affects the hearing.

Also, with damage to the tympanic membrane, then the probability of bacterial infections is increased again, otitis and other diseases can recur.

Important!Reception of antibiotics can provoke a decrease in immunity, in general, treatment and recovery period after the disease can last long enough.


Otitis usually appears on the background of a nose or throat disease, sometimes after an ear trauma. First, there is a sharp pain in the ear, it can be a pulsating nature, it can give to the jaw from the patient side. Together with the pain there is a high fever, the ear can swell.

A few days after the onset of the disease, pus begins to separate from the ear, and the eardrum ruptures. Less favorable outcome - when pus can not break the eardrum, as a result of which it begins to spread inside, affects the brain. Meningitis, brain abscess and other serious illnesses that require urgent medical care can begin to develop.

Also, with otitis can occur a strong feeling of nausea, sometimes - digestive disorders. They are not the main symptom, however, it is worthwhile to pay attention to such sensations if they arise in case of an infectious cold.


Diagnosis and treatment of otitis deals with a doctor - an otolaryngologist. Usually, the disease is determined by external examination and analysis of symptoms, especially if the excretion of pus through the hole in the tympanic membrane began. After a doctor's examination, a number of studies are carried out.

To determine the extent of infection and the presence of complications, X-ray examinations are carried out, sometimes a computed tomography is required. It is carried out if there is a suspicion of brain damage and severe complications associated with the spread of pus.

To determine the type of infection, bacterial culture of discharge from the ear is carried out. To determine the type of bacterial infection is important in order to accurately prescribe an antibiotic if necessary.

How to treat otitis media?

When the first signs of the disease, earaches, you need to see a doctor as soon as possible. The disease develops quickly enough, if you delay the time, complications can arise. Self-medication with otitis, especially when a purulent form is found, is extremely dangerous. The more neglected the disease, the more likely it is that surgical intervention will be required.

There is no way to get to a specialist immediately, you can make a vodka compress on the ear, which will slow the development of the inflammatory process. A small amount of heated vodka you need to lightly soak gauze, fix it on your head. With such a compress, you can wait for the doctor.

After examining the otolaryngologist and the necessary examination, a full treatment of otitis begins. Usually it includes the following drugs:

  1. Antibiotics in drops are commonly used by Otofa, Normax, Ciprofarm and their analogs. Antibiotics should be taken strictly on the advice of a doctor.
  2. Antiseptic drugs that help get rid of the infection. Miramistin is usually used.
  3. Antifungal drugs, they are required if the external lesion was provoked by a fungal infection.

Also, antipyretic agents and pain medications that help to cope with the symptoms of otitis media can be used. If the disease is in neglected form, there is a possibility of inflammatory brain damage, resort to surgical intervention.

Paracentesis is performed - a puncture of the tympanic membrane, through which the pus accumulated in the ear cavities is removed. Restorative treatment after a puncture usually lasts long enough, you need to make sure that the pus comes out completely, the infection does not continue to develop.

In more severe cases, otitis treatment should be performed in a hospital, especially if the development of inflammatory diseases of the brain has begun. Treatment is under the full control of doctors.

Treatment with folk remedies

Use of folk remedies for otitis directly can be dangerous. It is not recommended to dig in, either in the ear without a doctor's appointment. Traditional methods of treatment can damage the tympanic membrane, provoke the spread of infection inside the ear. The only safe acceptable means is a compress based on vodka, in no case can it be replaced with alcohol.

However, if you consider that inflammation of the ear usually reduces immunity, you can use folk remedies to strengthen the body, they will help to cope more quickly with infectious disease.

When otitis is useful to drink infusions and herbal decoctions, which have a positive effect on the resistance of the body, help to remove inflammation, quickly get rid of the disease. Usually they take chamomile, sage or mint. One cup of boiled water is taken one spoonful of dried grass, it should be insisted for 30 minutes. Drink at least once a day, biting with honey.

If otitis treatment was started in a timely manner, the prognosis is good, the probability of complications is small. It is necessary to monitor changes in your condition, with worsening, you should immediately seek help from your doctor.