With the beginning of the school year, respiratory infections become more and more frequent. One of the complications most feared by parents is otitis media, due to the discomfort it produces. In some cases, the accumulation of mucus and pus in the middle ear causes the eardrum to bulge so much that it breaks.
Let's imagine a balloon. If we inflate it, at first it will be able to distend without problems. But if we continue to inflate it more and more, the tension inside it ends up generating a perforation and the gaseous content will come out suddenly: the same happens in some otitis, with the mucopurulent content stored. In this case, we are faced with a case of perforated eardrum in children.
The most common cause is infectious (otitis), but there is more: accidental introduction of a pointed foreign body, severe trauma to the ear (for example: a slap), use of sticks, exposure to a high intensity noise, rapid change pressure (diving), etc.
It may appear that the perforation of the eardrum hurts. Well, the opposite happens. Otitis media hurts a lot, precisely until the eardrum ruptures. In the pre-piercing phase, the child is irritable, cries incessantly and tends to cover his ear with his hand.
When the perforation occurs, the minor is more relieved, and we will be able to appreciate the exudation through the external ear of mucus, pus and - as in any wound - blood. Usually transiently, the child will lose hearing acuity and may perceive a buzzing / buzzing sound. Also, you may feel dizzy.
By the clinic. In addition, with the help of the otoscope, the doctor will be able to determine the location of the open hole in the eardrum, as well as the discharge of secretions through it.
Suppurative otitis is treated with a broad-spectrum antibiotic administered orally for 10 days. Amoxicillin is considered the first choice. In addition, we can resort to general measures (oral ibuprofen and dry local heat for pain). A ear plug only when we are going to clean the child, so that no water gets into the middle ear. We only have to clean the secretions externalized to the ear with the tip of a towel, gauze or cotton, avoiding the introduction of cotton buds.
The normal evolution of this type of process is towards complete healing. In a few days, the eardrum regains its integrity, through a small scar shaped like a “fly wing”. In only a small percentage of cases, the perforation does not close properly spontaneously. In them, specific assessment by an ENT is required.
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