Chronische Mittelohrentzündung: Ursachen, Symptome, Behandlung

Chronic inflammation of the middle ear

A long-lasting (longer than three months) or recurring inflammation of the middle ear (otitis media) is referred to as chronic middle ear inflammation. This permanent or recurring inflammation is triggered by a non-healing hole in the eardrum.

Chronic middle ear inflammation refers to two chronic diseases - chronic mucosal suppuration and chronic bone suppuration. The bone suppuration is due to a cholesteatoma. Chronic otitis media usually manifests itself as hearing loss and fluid leaking from the ear. In this article, you can find out all about the causes, symptoms and treatment options.

Chronic otitis media causes

The Eustachian tube connects the middle ear with the nasopharynx and ensures adequate ventilation of the middle ear. However, if the eustachian tube is blocked, for example by enlarged adenoids or tumors, negative pressure is created, which can lead to damage to the eardrum. These injuries can in turn allow pathogens to penetrate and trigger infections, which have optimal survival conditions due to the lack of ventilation.

Acute middle ear infections or repeated sinusitis can cause chronic mucosal and bone inflammation. Basically, defects in the nasal septum, ENT tumors and allergies can be responsible for this. Another rare but possible cause is accidents that injure the eardrum and thus trigger chronic otitis media. In children in particular, the most common cause of chronic otitis media is a ventilation disorder of the middle ear due to nasal polyps.

Chronic middle ear infection symptoms

As chronic middle ear inflammation - unlike acute middle ear inflammation - is not always painful at the beginning, it often remains undetected. The classic signs include:

  • ringing in the ears
  • Diminished ability to hear
  • Liquid excretion from the ear canal
  • Expanding, inflamed tissue
  • Pain and dizziness are possible

Chronic otitis media diagnosis

Chronic otitis media is diagnosed by an ear, nose and throat specialist. First, the ear is examined using otoscopy, which reveals holes in the eardrum and potential pus formation. In addition, hearing is checked and an X-ray or CT is ordered to detect a cholesteatoma.

Chronic otitis media treatment/therapy

Chronic middle ear inflammation can be treated in various ways. Initially, medications are used, but in more severe cases, surgery is sometimes unavoidable.

Chronic middle ear infection medication

After cleaning the ear canal, antiseptics or antibiotics are applied locally. It is also possible to take antibiotics.

Chronic middle ear infection surgery

In the case of a cholesteatoma, surgery is almost always necessary to remove it. If medication does not work, surgery is also typical. During surgery, the holes in the eardrum are closed with the body's own material.

If necessary, damaged ossicles can be replaced with prostheses. Regular postoperative ENT check-ups are then necessary. The chances of success are generally good, but depend on the individual extent of the damage.

Chronic middle ear infection home remedies

There are a few simple home remedies to prevent chronic middle ear infection:

  • Keep your ear dry so that no fluid enters the middle ear
  • No cotton buds or absorbent cotton in the ear canal
  • Treat mouth/throat/nose infections to prevent germs from entering the middle ear