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Categories: 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

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.