NATIONAL JOURNAL OF HOMOEOPATHY 1996 May / Jun Vol V No 3.
Asrani C H.
Pain in the ear is one of the commonest complaints especially in the paediatric age group. It can be caused both by External otitis & Acute otitis media.
External Otitis- Patient presents with otalgia, frequently accompanied by itching and purulent discharge. Often you will be able to elicit history of water exposure (swimming or water entering the ear while bathing) or mechanical trauma (scratching, ears buds etc).
Examination of the ear reveals erythema and oedema of ear canal mostly with a purulent exudate. Manipulation of auricle is painful while examining. Even the tympanic membrane may be erythematous.
Important adjunct to the treatment is protection of the ear from additional moisture and further injury by scratching.
Acute otitis media- This is bacterial infection of the mucosally lined, air containing empty spaces of the temporal bone. Pus forms not only in the middle ear cleft but also in mastoid cells. This is usually precipitated by viral URTI which causes oedema of the ear tube. This is most common in infants and children. Patients presents with otalgia, pressure in the ear, diminished hearing as also constitutional symptoms like fever and malaise.
Examination reveals erythema and decreased mobility of tympanic membrane which may also show a bulge if collection of pus in the middle ear is large. In such a case rupture of the membrane is imminent which is followed by diminution of pain and onset of otorrhoea. With appropriate therapy this rupture heals spontaneously. Mastoid tenderness accompanies otitis media, and is due to presence of pus in the mastoid cells. Relief of pain and beginning of purulent discharge is not due to your medicines, but due to perforation of the membrane.