SEROUS MUCOUS EXUDATION INTO THE MIDDLE EAR
Categories: Diseases of The Eye and Ear
The disease just described
is often associated with an (exudation) watery oozing of fluid into the
middle ear, but the following condition is different. Sometimes a
comparatively normal middle ear is found to contain a variable amount of
either fluid or mucus, or a fluid which represents a combination of both.
The failure of the fluid to absorb is due first to the fact that the
drainage through the eustachian tube is still ob
tructed; second, that the
absorbing process in the cavity is not acting normally.
Symptom. Sudden change from somewhat poor to good hearing and the
reverse. It is due to the changing in the position of the fluid. The
hearing may be normal when the head is thrown far backward, for the fluid
then escapes into the antrum, or when the chin is resting upon the chest.
Another symptom that is peculiar is a feeling of something moving in the
ear. This is only felt when the head is moved suddenly. Sometimes the
patient says: "I went in bathing and got some water into my ear, and I am
unable to get it out." He thinks the water went into the ear by the way of
the external ear canal. It was due to the chilling of the surface of the
body, or the water accidentally entered into the ear through the mouth, or
nose, throat, and eustachian tube, and this caused an exudation of fluid
to take place in the middle ear. Hearing gurgling sounds in the ear during
coughing, sneezing and swallowing is an important symptom. The drum on
being examined varies greatly. The simplest case is seen when fluid
contained in the cavity is small in quantity and consists of a thin serum.
The upper level of this fluid can then be seen like a hair crossing the
drum in a more or less horizontal direction. It retains its horizontal
position when the patient moves his head backward and forward.
Treatment. The fluid can be evacuated by an opening made into the drum,
but it usually accumulates again. The proper treatment is to treat the
diseased condition of the nose and throat, as described in other parts of