Chronic Otitis Media

Otits media is infection or inflammation in the middle ear. It is a common infection in childhood and is related to Eustachian tube dysfunction in this age group. Most children grow out of the problem by 7 years of age but some go on to have persisting problems into adulthood.

Chronic otitis media refers to the presence of a long lasting infection in the middle ear associated with a tympanic membrane perforation with intermittent or continuous discharge from the ear. The perforations are frequently large, or even total, and scar tissue called tympanosclerosis can form under the residual eardrum or around the 3 vibratory bones in the middle ear, or ossicles and restrict their movement. The ossicles can also erode away as they are tiny and have a limited blood supply. A conductive hearing loss occurs due to combination of problems from the eardrum and ossicles, however the longstanding presence of pus and inflammatory cells also can lead to sensorinerual hearing loss, and so a mixed hearing loss is frequently present.