Infectious otitis of the ear in children: purulent, viral, bacterial, fungal

Ear inflammation is a disease that can occur at any age. There are different forms, but in the absence of proper treatment, the consequences can be serious. Many are interested in whether the otitis is contagious. Everything depends on the factors that caused the disease, the characteristics of each person's immunity.

Etiology of the disease

At the heart of the disease are two factors:

  • auditory tube function disorder,
  • the presence of viruses in the middle ear.

The auditory tube balances the atmospheric pressure in the tympanum. Cilia move the mucus from the middle ear to the nasopharynx. When the tube is blocked, swelling occurs. When the tube is blocked, a negative pressure develops. This results in the ingestion of mucus in the ear.

Localization of the disease

Types of pathogens

The most common pathogens are bacteria and viruses. The first group is represented by streptococci, hemophilic rods, moraxella. The second group is represented by respiratory viruses, rhinoviruses, adenoviruses.

The harmful microflora comes in a variety of ways:

  • through the mouth of the Eustachian tube,
  • through injuries in the tympanic membrane,
  • through the labyrinth,
  • through the blood.


In most cases, otitis is the result of infectious diseases: influenza, angina, sinusitis. It can appear immediately after the onset of symptoms of these ailments or arise after the symptoms subsided.

To lead to inflammation can and hypothermia, a long stay in the wind. In this case, the infection can develop only on one side, but with general supercooling against a background of weakened immunity, bilateral inflammation occurs.


This form of otitis is called bullosa. The disease begins unexpectedly, it is characterized by a rapid current. The prerequisite is usually an acute respiratory viral infection or a viral sore throat. For viral otitis characterized by the appearance of bloody blisters, called bullae. They appear on the tympanic membrane, but can also form on the skin near the external auditory canal.

The virus can be affected by the vestibular nerves. Then, in addition to pain, there is dizziness, nausea, a violation of the vestibular apparatus. When the facial nerve is injured, the asymmetry of the muscles also appears.


The risk group includes people with a narrow ear canal or with chronic otitis media. In rare cases, the disease occurs against a background of dermatitis and eczema. The external form of this disease is often caused by Pseudomonas aeraginosa.

This variety of bacteria begins to multiply actively in wet conditions. Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus spp, sometimes enterobacteria, act as causative agents.

Bacterial otitis often causes severe pain, especially with palpation. In some cases, the appointment of strong analgesics.

If the bacterial infection penetrates into the deep sections, the otolaryngologist prescribes antibiotics for systemic administration.

Other causes of

Fungi can also lead to the development of the disease. In this case, we are talking about otomycosis. Depending on the pathogen, a black, white or yellow discharge is observed. The first sign is severe itching.

If there is no pain, but itching occurs without the appearance of purulent discharge, then the cause may be allergic contact dermatitis. In mild forms, treatment does not require the use of expensive drugs.

The state of the middle ear is affected by anatomical abnormalities and genetics. In the first case, the probability of developing the disease with a short eustachian tube and its large angle of incidence is high. In the case of the Kartagener syndrome, the cilia in the middle ear receive a fixed state, increasing the accumulation of fluid.

Symptoms and causes of otitis media, more in our video:

Infectious otitis media

Two factors are necessary for infection with this disease:

  • Presence of an infectious agent.
  • A set of circumstances under which the pathogen can penetrate and become fixed in the ear of a person.

For infection, it is necessary that the concentration of pathogens in the environment be high enough. The method of propagation of the pathogen is also important: it enters the external ear through the ear canal, into the middle through the Eustachian tube.

It should be understood that otitis is not caused by a specific pathogen. Therefore, you can not get infected with this disease. For example, the cause of influenza is a viral microorganism that can not cause another disease.

The otitis media of the middle ear is often a continuation of the dominant viral disease. This means that first the inflammation affects the area of ​​the nasopharynx, and then it feeds into the ear. Therefore, you can get infected with a viral or bacterial infection, but in the event that it is present not only in the ear.

Can I get infected if another person has a viral or bacterial disease? On contact with the diseased pathogenic microflora can get into the ear, but development requires the presence of cracks that arise as a result of exposure to water, aggressive chemical compounds.

The problem can also arise if there is no sulfur in the ear, which is a natural barrier to infection.

How not to catch

Otitis is not transmitted if you follow the precautionary measures. The patient must have a separate bed linen, pillow and towel. The last and pillowcase must be washed in hot water and be ironed. Ears and their treatment should be done with gloves. If not, then after the procedure, be sure to wash your hands with soap.

You can protect yourself from infection by observing the precautionary rules:

  • Clean your ears carefully, without damaging the tissue.
  • Avoid getting into the ear of water. Especially in swimming pools and reservoirs.
  • Do not allow subcooling.
  • Limit contact with sick people. Especially this rule applies to weakened children.
  • Treat catarrhal diseases on time.
  • Avoid getting foreign objects into your ears.
  • Revise the power. The menu should have a lot of vitamins.

How not to get otitis media in our video:

Symptoms and first signs of

The first signs in toddlers include anxiety and refusal to eat. Infants often pull their hands to their ears and restlessly sleep. Sometimes painful sensations are absent. Therefore, parents need to urgently show the child to the doctor in the presence of secretions.

The first manifestations in adults and children include redness around the entrance to the ear canal. There may appear an abscess with a rod. Reddening of the auditory canal and tympanic membrane also speaks of the inflammation of the middle ear. Characteristic are pain, tinnitus, a feeling of stuffiness.

Doctor Komarovsky about the signs of otitis in a child:

Prevention of

disease Prevention includes the passage of an annual examination from Laura. Be sure to strengthen immunity, drink enough clean water. It is best if the house has a humidity of 50%, and the air temperature is 18-19 degrees. In time, treat colds, remove mucus from the nasal passages.

If you plan to visit a swimming pool or pond, drop into your ear antiseptic drops after water procedures. Do not forget and in time to clean the outer ear of particles of dirt and sulfur. If you follow all the recommendations, you can prevent not only the occurrence of otitis, but also many other serious diseases.

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