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ACUTE CATARRHAL INFLAMMATION OF THE MIDDLE EAR





Category: Diseases of The Eye and Ear

Causes. Acute coryza,
acute pharyngitis, influenza, scarlet fever, inflammation of the
eustachian tube, gargling, bathing, employing the nasal douche or
violently blowing the nose.

Inflammation of the eustachian tube is, in many cases, simply the first
stage or onset of this disease. The congestion extends beyond the tube and
involves to a greater or less degree this cavity. If it continues for a
few hours or an entire day, the watery elements of the blood will begin to
escape from the distended vessels into the tissues of the mucous membrane
and ooze out upon its free surface. If this is copious enough pressure may
be developed within the cavity, middle-ear, to cause pain. These cases
vary much in severity. In the mildest ones there may be a few twinges of
pain in the affected ear, but nothing more; and even in the most severe
cases the pain does not last longer than a few hours, although it may
return on several successive days. Very many of the earaches of young
children, from two to ten years of age, are due to this disease. The pain
is very likely to come on late in the afternoon or during the night, while
earlier in the day the child may be free from pain. In the milder forms
the condition of the drum is similar to that existing in inflammation of
the eustachian tube. It is not then much changed from normal. There may be
more congestion than in this condition. In a fairly severe case the
membrane (drum) a few hours after the onset presents a most striking
change. It is a picture of obstructed venous (dark blood) circulation of a
high degree. In some cases one or more of these distended veins may
rupture and form a blood tumor in the external ear canal. The drum is red
and more or less swollen.

Treatment. Very little is needed for this kind, except care and watching.
Use the simple hot water in the ear carefully or poulticing when there is
pain with onions, bread and milk, and puncture of the drum if it bulges or
is too tense. Hot water for gargle, steaming of the pharynx. Keep the
patient in a room with an even temperature. The patient must not take cold
as it might extend farther.

Recovery. The outcome is usually good in this disease if proper care is
taken; Generally in a few weeks the inflammation is gone and the hearing
is restored.





Next: SEROUS MUCOUS EXUDATION INTO THE MIDDLE EAR

Previous: SIMPLE INFLAMMATION OF THE EUSTACHIAN TUBE



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