Any upper respiratory tract infection (often bacterial - strep) but may be viral can cause inflammation of the respiratory mucosa, with obstruction of the eustacian tube isthmus, with results in accumulation of middle ear secretions. This causes negative pressure which pulls viruses and bacteria into the middle ear.
This increases the pressure causing otalgia and a bulging TM - the most obvious sign.
75 - 80% resolve by 72 hours - most are better by 3 days.
It is frequently overdiagnosed.
Complications include hearing loss, recurrent otitis media, perforation, labyrinthitis, mastoiditis, facial palsy, meningitis, cerebral abscess and venous sinus thrombosis.
Treatment is mostly with time. Watch and wait antibiotics may be useful.
Amoxicillin is the first choice if antibiotics actually needed (bilateral infection, longer than 3 days, systemically poorly)
There may be an associated effusion (glue ear). Consider a hearing assessment especially if recurrent.Decision Aid for Antibiotics in Otitis Media by @PublicHealthON:https://t.co/wF9TQ7yM93#FOAMed #Meded #DecisionAid images made searchable:— grepmed (@grepmeded) February 12, 2019
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This is often caused by bacteria and fungi, and less commonly viruses. The ear canal is swollen and sore with discharge- like a pimple. If there's mucous there, the discharge is probably from AOM. Treat with drops - antiseptic (acetic acid) and antibiotic (ciprofloxacin or aminoglycoside if no TM rupture).
Malignant Otitis Externa
Very painful and often in the elderly. Caused by pseudomonas.
Foreign Bodies in the Ear
Read this RCEMLearning article.
Nose trauma is common in children. There is a belief that nasal septal haematomas are more common - look for a cherry red haematoma in the nose.