Inflammation of the Tympanum. Deafness.
Symptoms. In the acute form of the disease, there is violent pain, ringing noises in the ear, and delirium. When the suppuration takes place, there is a chill, and a heavy, tensive pain.
In the chronic form of the complaint, the lining membrane of the tympanic cavity has its vessels a little enlarged, with blood sometimes effused into its substance, or lymph upon its surface, or the membrane is thickened, and sometimes covered with tuberculosis concretions, or there are fibrous bands occupying nearly the whole of the cavity.
Symptoms. These are slight, the first perceptible change being generally deafness in one or both ears. There may be a woolly sensation, with noises or ringing,. and slight aching pains.
Treatment. As the deafness in these cases generally depends on a chronic inflammation of the tympanic membrane, the best remedies are those which improve the condition of the digestive organs and general health, as regular diet, bathing, pure air, and exercise, with tonics and alteratives.
If the inflammation be acute, it must be combated with purging blisters, poultices and fomentations.
When deafness is caused by inflammation in the Eustachian tubes, or from enlargement of the tonsils, etc., the tonsils must be cut off, and a solution of nitrate of silver, twenty grain ' ~s to the ounce, must be thrown upon the mouths of the tubes with a shower syringe.
As deafness when due to throat troubles is caused by disturbance of air pressure in the middle ear on account of the Eustachian tubes being closed, the object is to make them permeable to air. The Politzer air bag is the best method to accomplish this and consists of a large bulb attached to a rubber pipe which has a small rubber nozzle at the end to insert into the nostrils. The patient holds a swallow of water in the mouth until the operator has Placed the rubbernozzle in the one nostril, and tightly closing the other nostril, he presses the bulb. At the time when the air is forced into the nose, the patient is told to swallow. The action of swallowing causes the throat muscles to close in such a way that the only escape for the air is through the tubes and this is what it was hoped would be accomplished. Another fairly successful method to obtain the same result is named the Valsavaan, after the ear specialist who originated it. This consists in closing both nostrils between the thumb and forefinger and then closing the mouth, forcibly trying to blow the nose. As air cannot escape from the nostrils because they are being held, many times it will go through the tubes.
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