Otitis in adults: classification, symptoms of middle ear inflammation, signs, causes, treatment

Otitis is an inflammation of one of the ear sections that affects the hearing and many vital processes. According to statistical data, in adulthood, the disease occurs significantly less often than in children.

But if any signs of the disease are found in any age group, it is necessary to urgently start therapy in order to avoid dangerous consequences and a significant decrease in the patient's quality of life.

Classification of otitis

According to the nature of the course of the disease, forms are distinguished:

  • Acute. The disease occurs suddenly, has a marked symptomatology.
  • Chronic. Inflammatory process proceeds long time, has the periods of an exacerbation.

There are three forms of localization:

  • Outdoor .The defeat of external auditory strokes. The causative agents of this form of otitis are Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus. For fungi of the genus Candida and Aspergillus, the external auditory meatus is a great place for reproduction - it is dark a
    nd moist after bathing.
  • Medium .The Eustachian tube and the drum cavity are affected. Pathogens( hemophilic rod, pneumococci, moraxella) and viruses usually become pathogens of middle and inner otitis media.
  • Internal .The most dangerous form. The inflammatory process develops in a labyrinth located in the temporal bone. There are special receptor cells that transmit sounds to the corresponding brain region of

. The following forms are distinguished by the ways of developing otitis:

  • Purulent. There is an accumulation of pus behind the tympanic membrane.
  • Catarrhal. There is swelling and redness of tissues, there is no liquid or purulent discharge.
  • Exudative. In the middle ear, fluid( blood or lymph) accumulates, which is an excellent medium for the reproduction of microorganisms.

Photo of different types of otitis

types of otitis

Reasons for the emergence of

Otolaryngologists distinguish the following factors that can lead to the development of otitis:

  • Contamination of contaminated water. In the presence of microtraumas and cracks in the outer ear, inflammation may develop upon contact with infectious agents in the water.
  • Complicated of sinusitis, SARS.In this case, the causative agent penetrates into the middle ear rhinotubularly, that is, through the Eustachian tube, which connects the ear and the nasal cavity. If the inflammation of the middle ear does not stop in time, then the infection also penetrates into the inner ear.
  • Kidney diseases, diabetes mellitus, infectious diseases, hypothermia against a background of reduced reactivity of the immune system can increase the risk of otitis media.
  • Improper nasal cleansing( blowing through both nares at the same time), severe coughing and sneezing lead to increased pressure in the nasopharynx. This, in turn, can cause penetration of infected mucus into the middle ear.
  • Mechanical removal from the outer ear of sulfur, which protects the hearing organ from infection, damage.
  • Contact with foreign bodies.
  • Immune deficiency, including HIV infection.

The picture shows the area of ​​the center of inflammation of otitis media

otitis diagnosis

Symptoms in adults

Clinical manifestations of the disease are associated with the localization of the inflammatory process. To suspect the presence of otitis in adulthood is possible by classical symptomatology:

  • Shooting pain.
  • Feeling of congestion.
  • Discomfort.
  • Temperature rise.
  • A slight decrease in hearing is possible.
  • Sleep disturbance.
  • With the development of otitis media, perforation of the tympanic membrane, the occurrence of suppurative discharge with an admixture of blood is possible.

Chronic otitis has the following symptoms:

  • Hearing loss.
  • Periodic purulent discharge from the ear.
  • Dizziness or tinnitus.
  • Pain appears only during periods of exacerbation of the disease.
  • Possible temperature increase.

Indications for inflammation of the inner ear:

  • Frequent dizziness.
  • Possible nausea and vomiting.
  • Deterioration of hearing.
  • Noise in the ears.

How to treat

The basis for treating the external ear in adults is ear drops. If the patient does not have immunodeficient conditions( HIV infection, diabetes), antibacterial drugs are not needed. The course of therapy usually does not exceed 5-7 days.

than to treat otitis in adults Often used to treat inflammation of the external ear:

  • Antibiotics( ciprofloxacin hydrochloride, norfloxacin, rifamycin).
  • Corticosteroids and antibiotic( sfradex, candybiotic).
  • Antiseptics - Miramistin with a nebulizer, which also has an antifungal effect.
  • Antifungal ointment( clotrimazole, natamycin), if the causative agent of otitis is the fungus. Also widely prescribed ointment Mupirocin, which normalizes the microflora in the outer ear.

During the therapy of inflammation of the middle and inner ear, the main ones are antibacterial drugs. Drugs are prescribed 2-3 days after the appearance of the first signs of otitis.

Therapy should be performed under the supervision of a physician. Do not forget that about 28,000 patients die each year due to improper treatment of otitis media.

The main antibiotics for therapy:

  • Amoxicillin( Flemoxin, Ospamox, Amosin).
  • Cefuroxime( Cefurus, Zinnat).
  • Amoxicillin with clavulanic acid( Flemoclav, Augmentin).

Antibacterial drugs should be taken for at least 7 days.

Also widely used for the treatment of otitis media are ear drops. In the absence of perforation, the following drugs are used: Otinum, Otipax. The use of drops with antibiotics at this stage is impractical, because the inflammatory process proceeds behind the tympanic membrane.

In this case, use drugs with antibiotics. However, ototoxic drugs( gentamicin, Framicetin, neomycin) are contraindicated, which can lead to hearing loss, drugs with phenazone, alcohol. At this stage, widely prescribed such drops: "Normaks", "Tsiprofarm", "Miramistin."

In some cases, a small surgical intervention is required during treatment. This operation was called the paracentesis of the tympanic membrane. It is performed in the absence of improvement against the background of taking antibiotics.

Local anesthesia is used during the manipulation. In the tympanic membrane with a special needle, a puncture is made, through which pus is removed. The incision is overgrown independently after the cessation of the excretion of pus.

Internal ear inflammation therapy is performed only in a hospital under the constant supervision of an otolaryngologist. It includes the use of antibiotics, means for improving microcirculation within the labyrinth, as well as neuroprotective drugs to protect nerve cells from damage.


procedures during otitis media It is quite often that medical therapy is combined with physiotherapy:

  • UHF.Treatment consists in exposure to the body of a high-frequency electromagnetic field with a certain frequency. Assign with caution, because it can lead to the formation of fluid in the middle ear.
  • Electrophoresis. The method allows the introduction of drugs through the skin by means of an electric current.
  • Ultraviolet radiation. The procedure allows you to effectively remove inflammation. Irradiation is subjected to the tympanic membrane and the external auditory canal. The duration should not exceed 10-15 minutes.

Folk remedies

If you are an adherent of traditional medicine, then the following recipes are widely used for the treatment of otitis:

  • Dry heat. With inflammation in acute form, it is enough to cover the ear with a dry towel and attach a bottle of hot water or a salt heated in a frying pan wrapped in a pouch.
  • Use of onion juice. At the bulb, cut off the top and pour in a spoonful of cumin. Onion "pot" cover with a cut "lid" and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. After that, squeeze the juice and drip 3-4 drops at night.
  • Use of tincture of birch buds. It has anti-inflammatory and analgesic effect. Birch buds and vodka are mixed in a ratio of 1:10, insist 2 weeks. The resulting tincture should be heated, dripped onto cotton wool and put in the ear as a turun. It is necessary to repeat the procedure 14 times.
  • Application of 10% tincture of calendula.2 tablespoons of the collection pour 200 ml of vodka, insist 7 days. Mix the mixture and dig in 3-4 drops in the diseased ear up to 8 times a day.

How to properly treat otitis in adults, see in our video:

Complications of

In the absence of effective therapy, ear inflammation can lead to serious consequences:

  • Infection passes to the lower jaw, salivary glands. Often in such cases, patients become disabled.
  • Disturbance of the gastrointestinal tract. The ears and organs of the abdominal cavity are connected by one nerve. As a result, with ear inflammation, bloating, vomiting, constipation are possible.
  • Paresis of the facial nerve.
  • Otoanthritis - penetration of infection into the BTE area. Outwardly the ears protrude, there is swelling, the temperature rises.
  • Meningitis and other intracranial complications( encephalitis, hydrocephalus).
  • Cholesteatoma - formation of a cyst in the auditory canal, which is filled with keratin and necrotic cells.
  • Mastoiditis is an inflammation in the middle ear that causes destruction of the auditory ossicles.
  • Complete hearing loss.

Patients in adulthood can for a long time not pay attention to ear inflammation. That is why in some cases conservative therapy does not give the desired result and surgical intervention is unavoidable.

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