Middle ear and eardrum

Children in particular are often prone to middle ear infections, which are noticed by poor hearing or the discharge of fluid ("ear running"). Come to the ENT practice quickly for an examination, because in addition to the unpleasant accompanying pain, there may also be other secondary diseases.

An eardrum incision or the insertion of eardrum tubes (tympanostomy tubes) may be necessary. This procedure is performed on an outpatient basis in our practice and causes hardly any discomfort afterwards.
In the case of hearing loss due to impairment of the ossicular chain or the inner ear, surgical options for restoring hearing are also possible today. This requires a special diagnosis in our practice and a detailed consultation. The surgical spectrum offered includes:

  • Improvement of middle ear ventilation with the help of balloon catheters
  • Replacement of the eardrum, if necessary with restoration of the ossicular chain
  • Removal of tumours in the middle ear and at the transition to the brain
  • Implantable hearing aids

A hole in the eardrum (eardrum perforation)

A hole in the eardrum can be caused by various reasons and must be checked by an ENT/ORL specialist.
The eardrum protects the middle ear against the penetration of pathogens and water.
If an injury occurs (see possible causes) and the following symptoms become noticeable, a specialist should be consulted.

Possible causes:

  1. Manipulation in the ear canal by foreign objects such as cotton buds, paper clips, hairpins, ear flushing, injury by branches, penetration of chemicals.
  2. Sudden change in pressure
    Noise trauma (explosion, gunshot), blow/ball to the ear, diving, immersion in water from a great height, skydiving
  3. Middle ear infection

Symptoms:

Sharp ear pain, reduced hearing, dizziness, "ear running", blood coming out of the ear canal.

If these symptoms are noticed, treatment belongs exclusively in the hands of a specialist in ear, nose and throat diseases. There is a strong warning against attempting treatment on your own, as this can allow bacteria to enter the middle ear, which opens behind the eardrum, and cause permanent (hearing) damage.
The ENT doctor examines the eardrum, removes any foreign bodies and cleans the ear. Then, depending on the size, the defective area may be covered with a special material and allowed to heal.
In a surgical procedure, the eardrum is deliberately incised (paracentesis) in order to insert, for example, a tympanic tube (1 to 1.5 mm in diameter), which guarantees ventilation of the middle ear behind the eardrum and thus prevents further inflammatory processes. In children this is done under general anaesthesia, in adults under local anaesthesia.

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