Myringitis is an ear infection that causes blisters and small lumps on the eardrum. It is a painful condition in which the middle ear develops inflammation due to the formation of blisters. Apart from pain, there may be partial hearing loss for 2-3 days as the blister starts growing. The eardrum also called as tympanic membrane lies between the outer ear and middle ear and is responsible for sending sound signals to the brain. Due to bacterial or viral infection, there would be swelling and itching sensation on the ear. It also triggers formation of pus filled blisters on the membrane causing sharp pain in the ear.
The main cause for myringitis is Streptococcus pneumoniae and Mycoplasma pneumonia. The bacteria enter into the eardrum gradually multiplying causing infection and blisters. The eardrum can get infected by bacteria or virus when the person uses the public swimming pool. Swimmer’s ear (acute otitis externs) can also cause ear infection and inflammation.
There would be considerable pain on the infected ear along with itching or burning sensation. Sometimes, there may be pus like discharge from the ear that is yellow or white in color. The symptoms will be there as long as the blisters survive. In addition there may be common cold, fever, headache and partial hearing loss for 2-3 days until the blisters heal completely. There would be radiating pain for few days, even after the infection is treated.
When the blisters rupture and drains off liquid, there may be discharge of blood along with draining material. The ear canal will be warm and tender owing to the swelling and blister formation.
In case of primary myringitis, the tympanic membrane will be visibly red in color exposing the small blood vessels inside. Further the doctor can also see infected material and visible debris behind the eardrum.
Myringitis is often seen in children and sometimes in adults.
Your doctor will look for the signs of ear pain and blisters inside the eardrum. He may test the pus like fluid oozing out from the blister for detecting any bacteria.
Antibiotic medicines are given either in the form of ear drops or as oral medicine. It is necessary to take antibiotics for a course so that bacteria are totally destroyed. Anti-inflammatory medicines can be taken for getting relief from pain. The infection can be contagious and hence the affected person should avoid contacting with others until the symptoms subside.
The doctor may clean the infection and drain the pus from the eardrum. In rare cases, surgery is done (myringoplasty) for removing bacteria and dirt particles from the eardrum.
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• Care must be taken to keep the children away from the infected environment.
• In case if one child gets acute otitis media there is increased chance for spreading the infection to other children in daycare centers.
• The child can be vaccinated with pneumovax so that he will not get infection from pneumoniae bacteria.
• Further the child should be instructed to wash the hands properly before eating.