Why does exudative otitis occur in a child?

1 Factors of the aetiology of the disease

The main cause of the inflammation of the middle ear is the ingress of any infection into its cavity. There is an infection through the nasopharynx in the presence in the human body of all kinds of viral diseases that affect the mucous membranes of ENT organs. As a result of the progression of viral diseases, there is swelling of the mucous membranes of the pharynx, the eustachian tube( the duct connecting the pharyngeal cavity and the middle ear) and the nasal cavity. Puffiness in turn provokes difficulty in ventilation of the middle ear cavity.

In the case of further development of a viral microorganism, there is a stage 1 of middle otitis, called catarrhal. If, for any reason, the treatment of the catarrhal form of otitis was not performed in a timely or full manner, then soon this stage develops into exudative otitis media. Intensive release of liquid exudate is the physiological response of the body to the inflammatory process that has arisen in the middle ear cavity. And as a result of puffiness the narrowing of the lumen of the auditory tube occurs, the outflow of fluid is greatly hindered and the accumulation of exudate is only aggravated.

Over time, intensive accumulation of all kinds of viruses and pathogenic microorganisms occurs in the accumulated sticky liquid. After that, the liquid exudate filling the cavity of the auditory tube begins to thicken and eventually transform into pus.

2 Other causes of the development of the disease

The factors that trigger the development of the pathological process include:

  • various mechanical damage to the nose and its septum;
  • the presence of inflammatory diseases that affect the nasopharynx and mucous membranes of the paranasal sinuses;
  • the course of inflammatory processes in the auditory tube of different intensity;
  • significant deterioration of the immune system of the body;
  • constant supercooling;
  • passive smoking: mucous membranes of the nasopharynx and nose of the baby are too sensitive to exposure to tobacco smoke;
  • the presence of an allergic reaction to anything can also provoke inflammation of the middle ear;
  • environmental factor: poor ecology is one of the reasons for the appearance of any pathology in the human body;
  • effects on the baby's body of various hazardous chemicals.

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3 Symptomatics and Diagnosis of Pathology

The manifestations that accompany the development of exudative otitis media in most cases may be mild or simply absent. It is especially difficult to diagnose this disease in a small child, so parents should carefully monitor its behavior.


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The main symptoms of exudative otitis are as follows:

  1. Feeling of congestion in the right or left ear. A small child with such a symptom can constantly try to dig something out of the stuffed ear.
  2. Intensive accumulation of mucus in the nasal cavity.
  3. Deterioration of auditory function, which manifests itself in the form of a disturbance in the perception of sounds. In this case, the child may not respond to the voice of the parents from the first time.

If a child of an older age can already talk, then he may notice that his own voice echoes in the head. This phenomenon indicates the accumulation of liquid exudate in the middle ear. In addition, the baby may notice that when the head tilts sharply, a splash appears in the ear, as if a liquid has entered its cavity.

In order to diagnose the presence of exudative otitis media of the middle ear in a child, first of all it is necessary to consult a doctor. The otolaryngologist should conduct a visual examination of the patient's ears and listen to his complaints, in the case of a small child - parents. After this, a diagnostic procedure such as otoscopy is performed. With this procedure, the attending physician can assess the state of the eardrum of the patient.

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In addition, for more detailed diagnosis of the pharyngeal estuary and auditory tubes, fibroscopy is used, which allows to establish the main cause of the development of the pathological process, as well as determine its nature and stage.

4 Treatment of inflammatory disease

Treatment of inflammation of the mucosa of the middle ear is carried out through drug therapy, special hardware procedures, and in case of need for surgical intervention. Medicamental treatment of pathology is selected individually for the patient and depends on the stage of development of exudative otitis media. The main goal of drug therapy is to restore the normal functioning and ventilation of the Eustachian tube and to eliminate various respiratory-viral diseases. To eliminate the inflammatory process, the patient is prescribed the use of non-steroid drugs and various antibacterial agents.

Carrying out of hardware procedures allows to restore the tone and patency of the auditory tube, for example, laser- and magnetotherapy, ultrasound and electrophoresis are used. In order to remove the accumulated exudate from the affected ear, a pneumomassage of the tympanic membrane is used or the ear cavity is blown through the Politzer.

If the advanced stage of the disease is diagnosed, then it can be treated only by performing one of the surgical procedures:

  1. Timpanopuncture. Treatment of otitis media of the middle ear in this case means pumping out the fluid exudate from the ear canal with a special needle.
  2. Miringotomy. Treatment of the disease with this method of surgery involves a small incision in the tympanic membrane through which the accumulated exudate is removed.
  3. Bypass. The procedure is to dissect the tympanic membrane and install a special device called a shunt into the ear cavity. Through such a medical device, special medicinal products are supplied into the cavity of the auditory tube, which facilitate the liquefaction of the accumulated liquid.

The development of exudative otitis without prolonged medical care can lead to irreversible changes in the sound apparatus of the child. Therefore, it is very important for parents to be able to detect manifestations of the disease in time and to turn to a specialist in time!

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