Infection of The Middle Ear (Chronic Otitis Media)

Infection of The Middle Ear (Chronic Otitis Media)
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Chronic Otitis Media (COM) is commonly referred to as infection of the middle ear.

Talking about the middle ear, it is a shallow chamber behind the ear drum which houses the small bones to transmit sound from the eardrum to the inner ear. It is connected by the Eustachian Tube to the area behind the nasal cavity. The Eustachian Tube in turn helps to maintain middle ear pressure and drainage of secretion from the middle ear. In case of any sore throat or upper respiratory tract infection, the Eustachian Tube becomes inflamed and the middle ear becomes infected. Recurrent or long-term middle ear infection can result in chronic ear infections which we refer to as the Chronic Otitis Media.

Read Also: All About Sinonasal Tumours: Types, Symptoms and Treatment

Chronic Otitis Media (COM): Types of Chronic Ear Infections

There are 3 main types of Chronic Otitis Media:

1. COM-Mucosal Disease (inactive):

This is a condition associated with perforation in the eardrum along with hearing loss; however, in this, there will be no active ear discharge.

2. COM-Mucosal Disease (active):

This is a condition associated with ear drum perforation along with discharge and hearing loss. It is precipitated in patients of Chronic Otitis Media (COM) with water entry or upper respiratory tract infection.

3. COM with Cholesteatoma (also known as COM-Squamosal Disease):

Long-standing Eustachian Tube dysfunction can lead to eardrum retraction and cholesteatoma pocket formation. Cholesteatoma pockets have the propensity for bony erosion and infection. Patients with this type of disease have foul-smelling scanty discharge and hearing loss. In some situations, if the disease is not timely managed, it can spread from the middle ear to the inner ear leading to sensorineural hearing loss and dizziness. Rare but serious complications of meningitis, brain abscess and facial nerve paralysis are also known to occur.

Read Also: Juvenile Nasopharyngeal Angiofibroma: Symptoms and Treatment

Symptoms of Chronic Otitis Media (COM):

Common complaints include:

  • Ear discharge
  • Reduced hearing
  • Discomfort or fullness in the ear

 More serious complaints which require urgent attention may include:

  • Pain in the ear
  • Swelling and redness around the ear
  • Facial weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Fever
  • Headache and vomiting

Management of Chronic Otitis Media (COM)

Management aims to control acute infection and ear discharge through drug therapy. The surgical management is aimed at clearance of the disease, closure of tympanic membrane perforation and improvement of the hearing.

Read Also: Hearing Loss in Children and Adults: Types, Causes and Prevention

Your doctor may instruct you to get done certain investigations during treatment, such as PureTone Audiometry (PTA) so as to assess the type and severity of the hearing loss and imaging in the form of a High-Resolution Computer Tomography (HRCT) scan of the temporal bone in order to know the extent of the disease and ossicular status.

For further queries, please seek an appointment with an ENT Specialist.

Who to Consult for Chronic Otitis Media (COM):

Make an appointment in case of any further queries and treatment and get treated by one of the best ENT specialists in Delhi NCR, Dr. (Lt. Col.) Ravi Roy.

About Dr. (Lt. Col.) Ravi Roy:

Dr. (Lt. Col.) Ravi Roy is Senior Consultant, ENT at Yashoda Hospital & Research Centre in Nehru Nagar, Ghaziabad. He brings over two decades of clinical expertise with his specialization in otolaryngology. Proficient in CSF rhinorrhea, sinus, and skull base surgeries, Dr. Ravi Roy is known for his exceptional skill and dedication. Meet him in case of any ear-related problems.

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Yashoda Hospital

Yashoda Hospital

Yashoda Hospital is one of the best super specialty hospitals in Ghaziabad, Noida & Delhi NCR. Yashoda Hospital aims at providing the best healthcare services across the country and not just in Delhi NCR, Ghaziabad & Noida. Being a super speciality hospital, Yashoda Hospital has a number of dedicated specialities under one roof- gastroenterology, general surgery, obstetrics & gynaecology, cardiology, pulmonology & internal medicine, orthopedics, urology and many more.

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