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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

this book.