Human Ear - Basic Info
Human ear consists of the three parts which are called the outer ear, the middle ear and the inner ear. The outer ear includes the part of the outside the head and the ear canal. It is separated from the middle ear with the eardrum. The middle ear is the middle part of the ear and it is normally filled with air. And finally, there is the inner ear which is basically in charge with hearing and balance. The middle ear is connected to the upper part of the throat by the Eustachian tube.
The air in the middle ear allows spread of the sound waves from the eardrum to the inner ear and further to brain. However, if the middle ear is filled with fluid this affects process of sound transmission and leads to trouble hearing.
Fluid in the Middle Ear
Middle ear fluid is a condition also known as otitis media with effusion. This is actually the inflammation of the middle ear accompanied by the presence of fluid in the middle ear.
In children this fluid is usually watery or mucous-like fluid. Fluid in the middle ear affects a lot of children during their early years. Even though middle ear fluid usually accompanied inflammation of the middle ear it can also occur without any additional symptoms and signs of inflammation. The child usually suffers from the middle ear fluid in both ears. There are no additional symptoms such as fever or pain.
Causes of Middle Ear Fluid
Middle ear fluid may be a consequence of previous ear infection. Another cause is blockage of the Eustachian tube. It may also result from cold and flu. And in some cases the cause of the fluid in the middle ear is not known and this middle ear fluid is classified as idiopathic.
Treatment for Middle Ear Fluid
There are several treatments for middle ear fluid. One specific treatment may not be effective in all children. In some cases fluid in the middle ear withdraws spontaneously. Some patients are prescribed antibiotics, particularly those who have been suffering from middle ear fluid for more than three months. Fluid can be drained by the tubes which are placed into the eardrum. Whether the child will be treated and what treatment modality is going to be applied depends on the several facts including the length of the condition and the presence of hearing problems. In case there are serious problems with hearing the child should undergo a hearing test. Middle ear fluid may be prevented by certain measures such as keeping the child away from cigarette smoke and appropriate treatment of the ear infections.