Infection Myringitis

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Overview

Bullous myringitis (BM) is a relatively common infectious condition characterized by bullae or vesicles on the tympanic membrane (TM), without affecting the contents of the external or middle ear. If the middle ear becomes involved, this would be consistent with acute otitis media (AOM) and not merely bullous myringitis. As the tympanic membrane is well innervated, moderate to severe pain is a common expected manifestation. Physical findings may be similar to those of acute otitis media, including erythema and thickening of the tympanic membrane, attenuated or absent light reflex, and decrease membrane mobility. Bloody otorrhea can occur when a bulla ruptures and is referred to as bullous hemorrhagic myringitis. The rupturing of bulla often results in a concomitant reduction of pain.


The current thinking is that bullous myringitis is caused predominantly by viruses, although one study insinuated mycoplasma pneumoniae, which was not substantiated by subsequent studies.

Symptoms

Severe pain. The pain comes on suddenly and lasts 24 to 48 hours.

Hearing loss in the affected ear. Hearing loss will usually go away once the infection clears.

Fever.

Fluid draining from the ear. ...

Full feeling in the ears.

Irritability. ...

Tugging or pulling at ear.

Causes

Myringitis is a bacterial or viral infection of the eardrum. and is caused by a variety of viruses and bacteria. The bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae and Mycoplasma are common causes. , myringitis does not cause pus or fluid in the middle ear.

Bullous myringitis is thought to be caused predominantly by viruses, although Streptococcus pneumoniae is the most commonly identified bacteria. [2] Other bacterial pathogens include Haemophilus influenzae, Moraxella catarrhalis, Group A Streptococcus, Staphylococcus aureus.

Risk factors

Age. Children between the ages of 6 months and 2 years are more susceptible to ear infections because of the size and shape of their eustachian tubes and because of their poorly developed immune systems.

Group child care. ...

Infant feeding. ...

Seasonal factors. ...

Poor air quality.


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Complications

Complications for bullous myringitis are similar to those for other ear infections. Short-lived hearing loss is often seen in people with bullous, but if the condition is allowed to go untreated for too long, damage to the ear may become permanent.


Other than that, bullous has a good prognosis. Since hearing loss is caused by swelling in the ear canal, your hearing should return to normal after the bacteria or virus that caused the inflammation is treated. In fact, 95 percent of people start feeling relief for their symptoms within just three to five days, though it can take as many as five weeks for the entire ear to be free of infection.

Prevention

Contrary to popular opinion, ear infections are only indirectly contracted from other people. They happen because of trapped germs inside the ear, but the germs are more likely to be trapped while you have a cold or flu. That cold or flu can be contracted from someone else, which can in turn cause your ear infection.


Here are a few fast tips to help you or your kids avoid contracting something like bullous myringitis in the future:


Avoid cigarette smoke. It can actually get in your ears and make it harder for them to clean themselves.

Also avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes.

Wash your hands several times a day to keep from spreading germs.