Acute otitis: how not to go deaf from a common cold

Our ears, throat, and nose are connected by passages inside the head. This is necessary to balance the air pressure in all these organs. Therefore, when your ears are blocked, «exhaling» with a closed mouth and nose helps to get rid of this feeling. This feature of our anatomy is very helpful in some cases, such as diving underwater or flying in an airplane.

But in addition to obvious advantages, these features harbor danger. Infection can quickly spread from one organ to another, worsening the patient’s overall condition. In most cases, middle ear otitis starts from an infection in the nasal cavity.

Our ear consists of 3 parts:

External ear. It starts with the ear shell, continues with the auditory canal and ends with the eardrum.Middle ear. It starts from the inner side of the eardrum, which receives sound and makes it vibrate. The vibration is transmitted to 3 auditory bones, which «amplify» the vibrations on the way to the brain. The middle ear is where the canal to the nasal cavity is located and where otitis most often develops.Inner ear. This is a complex organ made of spirally twisted tubes, externally similar to a snail. The tubes are filled with fluid, in which sensitive hairs are immersed. When vibrations from the bones are transmitted to the fluid, waves are created there, which irritate the hairs — a nerve impulse is created, which rushes to the brain with an encoded sound signal.

What happens when otitis starts?

With unsuccessful blowing of the nose, sneezing or coughing, infection can get into the middle ear and cause inflammation. This leads to the release of fluid and its filling of the middle ear capsule. Since this is a closed space — the fluid has nowhere to go, it accumulates, the pressure inside grows. Naturally, there can be no talk of normal sound transmission — a person has noise in the ears, a feeling of congestion.

Gradually, pus begins to thicken from the fluid. The pain gradually increases, radiates to the teeth, neck, eyes, throat. The temperature rises sharply, the head splits. If this condition is neglected — it will be necessary to puncture the eardrum and «pump out» the pus from the ear, or it will burst itself and the pus will flow out.

Otitis without adequate and timely treatment can lead to deafness, so any unpleasant and painful sensations should be quickly responded to by visiting a doctor.

How is otitis treated?

Forget about all folk methods, turundas and other nonsense — this can only harm! In most cases, otitis is caused by bacteria — strepto-, staphylo- and pneumococci, haemophilus rods and other common pathogens. This means one thing — they are treated with antibiotics under the supervision of a doctor. Most often, amoxicillin with clavulanic acid is used — this is the most active antibiotic against ENT infections. Do not take this medicine on your own, the drug belongs to the penicillin group of antibiotics and can cause allergic reactions!

To reduce pain and temperature, it is best to use ibuprofen — this is an effective and safe medicine, which is widely used in the USA. We wrote more about it in the last article.

If you are interested in what other medicines are used in developed countries — we have prepared an article about the American-style medicine cabinet!