15th Dec 2017
Birmingham man dies from ear infection
Ear Infections, What You Need to Know
We were shocked recently to read of the death of a Birmingham man from a middle ear infection. Andrew Broadhurst was a 39-year-old man from Birmingham in the United Kingdom that died from complications from Otitis Media (a mid-ear infection).
Unfortunately, the infection went undiagnosed and untreated by his doctors who believed he was suffering from migraine. The infection eroded the bone at the top and back of his middle ear and entered the brain. This led to meningitis and encephalitis which finally claimed his life.
This type of situation is very rare, however, that is of no solace to the family of Andrew Broadhurst. We decided to write a quick article giving a rundown of the possible symptoms for ear infections.
Sudden or Rapid Hearing Loss
While mid-ear infections are often accompanied by a reduced ability to hear. That hearing loss can usually be described as rapid as opposed to sudden and complete. There is a rising prevalence of sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSHL) which can only be reversed if treated rapidly. SSHL is a completely different problem than mid-ear infections and strikes in the Cochlea (the inner ear).
The best advice is to simply see a health professional quickly if you perceive any sudden or rapid loss of hearing. Your continued ability to hear may well rely on rapid treatment with steroids. Let's take a closer look at outer and middle ear infections.
Otitis Media, Middle Ear Infection
Middle ear infections (officially otitis media) occur in the middle ear cavity behind the eardrum. Middle ear problems are very common in children and most kids will have a mid-ear infection. A large part of the problem is the eustachian tube, the eustachian tube connects the middle ear and the back of the nose and throat. It drains the middle ear of any mucous and equalises the pressure in the middle ear cavity.
The Eustachian tube is narrow and if it becomes inflamed it can close up. When the eustachian tube closes, you get both a pressure and fluid build up in the middle ear. Sometimes that fluid buildup becomes infected, that is when a simple middle ear problem can become dangerous. The symptoms of middle ear infection are:
- Pressure or fullness in the ear
- Hearing loss
- Puss or fluid draining from the ear canal
If you are suffering from symptoms similar to the ones laid out here, you really need to consider calling your GP. If you feel that you have suffered a sudden or rapid hearing loss, you should have your hearing tested as a matter of emergency. If you want to find out more, want a hearing test, or are just looking for the best hearing aids in Edinburgh, give us a call on 0131 629 1819 or contact us online now.
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