Injury to the eardrum (rupture of the eardrum)
Manipulation of the external auditory canal, for example by inserting an ear-stick too far or hitting the ear with the flat of the hand, can injure the eardrum. In addition to pain and a small amount of bleeding, a reduction in hearing ability occurs. The specialist for ear, nose and throat medicine tries to close the tear with a fine suture. Small damages heal by themselves.
Tube aeration disorder (tube catarrh)
In the case of inflammations in the nasopharynx area (pharyngitis, sinusitis = inflammation of the paranasal sinuses, acute rhinitis (sniffles)), the mucous membrane can swell to such an extent that the auditory trumpet (Tuba Eustachii) can no longer provide pressure equalisation between the middle ear and the throat. Especially when pressure fluctuations occur (diving, flying, mountain climbing), an unpleasant pressure is now felt in the ear, which no longer disappears even when swallowing or yawning. In addition, a hearing loss occurs which does not stop until the pressure is equalized.
Acute tube ventilation disorders usually heal themselves due to a banal viral infection. Decongestant nasal drops can cause swelling to subside and open the Eustachian tube again. Only rarely is a puncture (paracentesis) of the eardrum necessary to drain a tympanic effusion.
Acute inflammation of the middle ear (Otitis media acuta)
Acute otitis media is an infection of the mucous membrane of the middle ear caused by either viruses or bacteria. It is usually referred to as an ascending infection, as the pathogens usually originate from the nasopharynx and previously the prevailing symptoms were a cold (rhinitis), sinusitis or bronchitis. The pathogens find their way through the auditory tube (Eustach ́sche tube, Tuba auditiva), which connects the middle ear with the nasopharynx.
Children are particularly often affected by such infections and complain of throbbing, pulling earaches, which are also accompanied by fever and hearing loss. General rest and decongestant nasal drops can quickly lead to recovery from viral infections. In case of a bacterial infection, the symptoms should be treated with an antibiotic. Children with a conspicuously frequent inflammation of the middle ear should generally be examined by an ENT specialist, as special causes (polyps, chronic tonsillitis, chronic pharyngitis (angina), chronic sinusitis) can be causative. You can also find further information under our topics:
- Acute middle ear infection
- Sinusitis Nasennebenhöhlenentzu
Pressure injury to the ear (barotrauma)
When pressure changes abruptly (diving, flying, mountaineering), a pressure difference builds up between the middle ear and the external auditory canal. This is quickly compensated for by a healthy auditory trumpet. If the ear trumpet is severely impaired in its function and a particularly rapid change in pressure takes place, the eardrum is stretched too much.
We perceive this as a feeling of pressure and hearing loss. If the pressure is excessive, the eardrum can even tear, resulting in severe ear pain, ringing in the ears and hearing loss. A tear in the eardrum can be repaired with a small operation.