Tympanitis is a common disorder of the middle ear. It can often be seen in children or young infants. Since it is associated with the tympanic membrane, it is named as tympanitis. However, it is also referred to as Myringitis.
What is Tympanitis?
Tympanitis is the inflammation and infection of the tympanic membrane, which is the sensitive membrane of the middle ear. This membrane helps in conducting sound in the ear. However, it is very susceptible to inflammation and infection. Infection causes fluid accumulation in the middle ear and this leads to inflammation. Thus, tympanitis causes ear ache and hearing impairment temporarily.
Causes of Tympanitis
As already mentioned, Tympanitis is more common in the young children or kids. The eustachian tubes are connected to the throat and nose. When the respiratory tract is infected by being exposed to the throat and nose, the bacteria or infection gets easy access to the tympanic membrane through the Eustachian tube. Therefore, the most common occasions when Tympanitis can be diagnosed in the children are when they are already suffering from –
- Cough and cold
- Viral infection
- Bacterial infection
- Fungal infection.
Apart from these infections, Tympanitis can also be caused by perforation of the tympanic membrane. There are some bacteria that contribute into this and these include –
- Bacillus fragilis
- Pseudomonas aeruginosa
- Peptostreptococcus species
- Bullous myringitis
- Proteus mirabilis
- Mycobacterium tuberculosis
- S aureus
- Trichophyton rubrum.
Any one of these bacteria and many others can lead to tympanitis. However, along with these bacterial or infectious causes, self-cleaning is also a reason behind tympanitis. While cleaning the ear, many people damage the tympanic membrane, leading to tympanitis.
Signs and Symptoms of Tympanitis
The most common sign and symptoms of tympanitis is temporary hearing loss and ear congestion that usually lasts for about 2 to 3 days. Apart from hearing loss and ear congestion problems, the other signs and symptoms include –
- Drainage or discharge of blood, pus and fluid from ear
- Continuous buzzing sound in the ear
- Ear ache
The severity or intensity of these signs and symptoms vary largely from person to person.
Diagnosis of Tympanitis
A typical Otoscopic examination can easily diagnose if the reason behind ear ache and hearing loss is tympanitis or not. Clinically, the signs and symptoms of this condition can easily help in diagnosing the condition, especially in case of children. Culturing the fluid from the ear will tell the exact cause or the type of bacterial infection that has led to this condition.
Treatment for Tympanitis
Since infection is the basic cause behind tympanitis, usually the condition is treated by antibiotics. In order to reduce the inflammation, anti-inflammatory drugs are prescribed. Analgesics or pain killers are also given to some patients, who undergo severe, intolerable pain in the ear. Most of these drugs and medicines are given in the form of ear-drops. Steroid creams are also prescribed in some cases, to treat chronic tympanitis.
Home Remedies for Tympanitis
Along with the prescribed medicines, home remedies are very useful for treating tympanitis. Some easy home remedies are –
Taking pineapple juice or eating fresh pineapple can help in reducing the ear inflammation, as well as the inflammation of the eustachian tubes.
Lukewarm Water and Onion Juice for Tympanitis:
One of the most useful home remedy to treat the pain and inflammation in the ear caused by tympanitis is to mix a little onion juice with some lukewarm water and put a few drops of it in the ear.
Like onion juice, garlic extract too is very useful home remedy for tympanitis. For that you need to crush a few cloves of garlic and heat up the juice. Pour a few drops of the warm garlic extract into the ear. Make sure that the extract is warm and not hot. Hot garlic extract will only aggravate the problem, rather than treat it.
Instead of the garlic extract, you can also put a few cloves of garlic into mustard oil and then roast it. Once it is roasted, let it cool down by removing it from hot oil. When it is cooled down, press a clove of garlic right into the ear, so that the extract of the garlic and the mustard oil goes into the ear to impart their beneficial properties to treat Tympanitis.
Fenugreek seeds have immense benefits and for treating Tympanitis, they are very effective home remedy. All that you need to do is crush a few seeds of fenugreek finely and then, mix it with some oil and warm it. Put a few drops of this warm fenugreek seed mixed oil into the ear.
Ayurvedic Oils for Tympanitis:
Hingwadi Taila, Apaamarga Kshaara Taila are some of the beneficial ayurvedic oils that are very useful in treating Tympanitis. You can rub the oil on the ears and the vapour from the oil will enter the ears to soothe the inflammation and pain.
All these natural home remedies can help in treating tympanitis to a great extent. However, of course, seeing a doctor to diagnose the condition properly is very important. Self-diagnosis and use of home remedies without consulting the doctor might be dangerous and wrong procedures can lead to permanent deafness of the patient.