ï· normal ear and its function
ï· what is an ear infection
ï· what happens in otitis media
ï· causes of earache
ï· what can homoeopathy do
if there is one thing we remember surely to have been affected with in our childhood, it is earache. Probably apart from âstomach painâ earache is the most commonly suffered from.
The inevitable âcolds & coughsâ in children sometimes do not resolve so easily and can be the cause of infection spreading to the ear, nose, throat and the lungs or in other words the upper and lower respiratory systems.
Earache is the fallout of the same.
Normal ear and its function:
for the sake of understanding let us divide the ear into three parts.
Outer ear: this helps in collecting sounds and functions as a channel to transmit the sounds into the middle ear.
Middle ear: it is separated from the outer ear by a thin membrane called the tympanic membrane which functions as a receptor to sounds and vibrates on reception of the same. These sounds are transmitted to the three tiny bones of the middle ear called as the malleus, incus and the stapes and the waves set these bones into motion.
Inner ear: with the motion of the bones of the middle ear vibrations are formed and transferred to the inner ear which is nothing but a space richly supplied with sensory nerve cells which convert these vibrations into electrical signals to the brain and we call the whole process as âhearingâ.
When we talk of earache it is predominantly due to infection of the middle ear. This middle ear is a hollow space in the bone of the skull and is separated from the outside world by a thin membrane called the tympanum, contains three fine bones and is connected to the back of the nose and the top of the mouth through a fine tube called as the eustachian tube.
What is an ear infection?
It is nothing but the infection of the middle ear and is called as otitis media. Depending on the course of the disease if it resolves in a three to four days it is called acute otitis media and if the infection persists or becomes recurrent it is called as chronic otitis media.
What happens in otitis media?
If the eustachian tube becomes blocked by the swelling or congestion in the nose and throat or by swelling of mucus membranes in the middle ear there is an imbalance of air pressure in the middle ear and the fluid cannot drain out properly from the middle ear through the eustachian tube.
ï· the build up of this mucus secretion in the middle ear eventually blocks sound vibrations, impairs hearing and in turn lead to infection if bacteria get into the fluid.
ï· if the fluid retention is temporary as in acute otitis media the congestion is drained out and normal function and hearing returns within span of hours to four days.
ï· if the fluid retention persists and the eustachian tube remains blocked as in case of chronic otitis media the fluid could become thick and draining becomes that more difficult.
ï· since the air does not enter through the tube vacuum develops in the middle ear and the tympanum becomes deformed and sometimes perforated and is not receptive to sound easily. This can also lead to the degenerative changes of the tiny bones in the middle ear and in rare cases if the infection is left untreated the same can spread to the layers of the brain near to the ear.
Causes of earache:
ï§ cold and regular cough.
ï§ multiple upper respiratory tract infections.
ï§ chronic sinusitis
ï§ ear trauma.
ï§ swelling of tonsils, adenoids.
ï§ viral infections.
ï§ bacterial infection due to streptococcus pnemoniae, haemophilus influenza is common.
ï· typically due to the infection there is inflammation, production of fluid, pus and pain.
ï· older children complain of ear pain, ear fullness and hearing loss. There could be dizziness and loss of balance.
ï· younger children may become irritable, fussy, have difficulty in feeding, sleeping and may have hearing loss.
ï· drainage of pus from the ear.
ï· fever is usually associated with the above.
ï· the loss of hearing though temporary is due to the accumulated fluid preventing the motion of the three tiny bones in the middle ear and the vibrations are too weak to send any electrical signals to the inner ear.
ï· in younger children the development of speech could be delayed as hearing is not proper and if the fluid accumulation is mild can cause subtle changes in speech, as few words are not pronounced properly.
ï¶ as the cause remains to be the upper respiratory tract infection, cold and cough when treated promptly would help in reducing the attacks of otitis media.
ï¶ also the children who have had bouts of ear infection should be treated without delay.
ï¶ environmental irritants like tobacco smoke, exposure to undue cold, breeze should be avoided.
ï¶ intake of chilled drinks to be abstained from.
ï¶ while swimming children should be asked to plug their ears to prevent entry of the water into the ears.
What can homoeopathy do?
ï¼ homeopathy has remedies to address the problem at any stage i.E. Acute or chronic.
ï¼ it has remedies to alleviate the pain, reduce the discharge, relieve the pressure in the middle ear and cure otitis media.
ï¼ homeopathy can cure the cause of the problem too whether it is frequent colds & coughs, sinusitis, respiratory infections, tonsillitis, adenoidal hypertrophy etc.
I have 4 1/4 years old daughter, she is suffering hearing loss since she was 2 1/2 years old, she passed from one surgery grommet insetion in july08 ,when tubes were in her ears hearing was normal , as tubes came out from ears, the problem against start, now she is again suffering from hear loss., yesterday we test ear ears by impendence audiometry, result came as fluid 0.08 ml left ear & 0.10 ml in right ear,
ear pressure -275 left ear & -300 of right ear.
when we show this report to our ent doctor, he told me that we have to again pass grommet sergery in comming diwali.
kindly help me asap