Timpani effusion


A tympanic effusion is a non-physiological accumulation of fluid that is in the middle ear and causes increased pressure. There is an air-filled cavity between the eardrum and inner ear, which is also responsible for healthy hearing. Due to various causes, serous fluids or blood and pus can accumulate here and form an effusion. There are acute and chronic forms. Tympanic effusion is the most common side effect of colds in childhood, but the causes can be varied.


The most common cause of an acute tympanic effusion is the common cold, in which the mucous membranes produce more secretions. Likewise plays the Eustachian tube, which connects the middle ear with the nasopharynx and balances the pressure in the middle ear, a decisive role in the development of tympanic effusion. If this is misplaced, a tympanic effusion can occur due to the negative pressure in the middle ear. Especially in children are enlarged in this context Pharynx (Adenoids) or Polyps Causes of a tympanic effusion. In addition, a Otitis media cause a tympanic effusion which, if left untreated, can become chronic.


The diagnosis of tympanic effusion is relatively easy to make. At the beginning there is one Otoscopyin which the appearance and curvature of the eardrum can be examined. The tympanic effusion can shimmer through the eardrum and show different colors depending on the type of fluid. In addition, a Tympanometry Facilitate the diagnosis of tympanic effusion by examining the mobility of the eardrum. A Hearing test belongs of course to almost every examination of the ear and shows one Conductive hearing loss. Once the tympanic effusion has been confirmed, the diagnosis should be expanded to include further research into the cause, e.g. Adenoids to recognize.


Ejaculation causes a number of symptoms. The patient notices one on the affected side dull, oppressive feelingas if there were cotton wool in the ear canal. Pain usually only occurs when there is a pronounced, long-lasting effusion or in the context of an otitis media. Other symptoms are a decreased hearing as well as a different degree in some patients Dizziness.


There are several options for treating tympanic effusion, whereby the cause of the tympanic effusion is the decisive factor.

Drug therapy of a tympanic effusion

If there is a simple cold, no special treatment is required, as the tympanic effusion disappears as the cold subsides. Maybe help here decongestant nasal drops and expectorant drugs like ACC.

Surgical therapy of a tympanic effusion

However, especially in childhood, there is often a special cause behind a long-lasting tympanic effusion. Here, the treatment must be expanded according to the findings. In the acute situation, after a waiting phase, a Cut into the eardrum be useful to relieve the effusion. In healthy children, this is usually done after 2-3 months without improvement.

The operation is a minor procedure and can be performed on an outpatient basis. In young children, a short one general anesthetic recommended, but the procedure is also problem-free local anesthesia perform. In the anterior lower quadrant, a small incision is made in the eardrum (Paracentesis) through which the tympanic effusion can be sucked off. Depending on the extent of the findings, the eardrum can then heal itself again, which only takes a few days, or one inserts to keep the eardrum open Ventilation tubes to ensure a longer drainage.

In addition, the cause of the tympanic effusion must be eliminated in the course of the process. Any polyps or enlarged tonsils must be removed to restore ventilation to the Eustachian tube and thus ensure permanent drainage. In adulthood, the tubes can be obstructed by tumors, which of course must then also be removed.

Globules for the therapy of a tympanic effusion

Some patients with tympanic effusion or their parents want to add globules to the treatment. Globules are one spherical dosage form of homeopathic medicines. It has to be said that there is no scientifically sound proof of effectiveness for homeopathic therapies, so that the use of globules for ear effusion only as support for conventional medicine can be viewed.

Especially when it comes to children with hearing loss, in addition to using the globules, a pediatric / ENT doctor should always be consulted so as not to impair language development. Only then is there nothing to be said against the use of globules against an ear effusion.

Schüssler salts for the therapy of a tympanic effusion

Just like the globules are too Schüssler salts often used for tympanic effusion to accelerate healing and avoid surgery. Here, too, the note applies that there is no clear evidence of the effectiveness of Schüssler salts, so that a doctor must always be consulted about an effusion that requires treatment, especially in children. When the tympanic effusion occurs Potassium chloride used as one of the common Schüssler salts, which is said to have a detoxifying and positive effect on the mucous membranes. Nevertheless, Schüssler should use salts only after consultation with a doctor used so as not to risk delays in necessary treatment.


The length of time it takes for a tympanic effusion depends on the underlying cause.

A simple one more acute Timpani effusion such as as part of a cold subsides after it has healed, but it should not last for 3 months exceed.

Of the chronic Ejaculation lasts longer than 3 months or until the cause of the effusion has been found and treated. The longer the duration, the greater the risk of chronification and further complications. Therefore, a persistent tympanic effusion should be clarified relatively early, after about 1-2 weeks.

Differences in adults and children

Since there are differences in terms of causes, treatment and, in some cases, complications that occur in adults and children, this is pointed out separately here.

  • Frequency: The tympanic effusion occurs much more frequently in children than in adults. 90% of all children have had a tympanic effusion at least once in their life, of which around 10-15% had to be treated with surgery. On the one hand, this is due to the other anatomical conditions with a more easily laid Eustachian tube. This is not fully developed by the age of 7 and can often only insufficiently ventilate the middle ear. On the other hand, there are more often additional obstacles in the nasopharynx in the child. Enlarged tonsils, also called adenoids or polyps, are not uncommon and often the reason for chronic tympanic effusion in children, as they obstruct the Eustachian tube.
  • Causes: The differences between adults and children with regard to the causes in adults are that the tympanic effusion usually arises from a cold or from sinusitis or rhinitis. The irritated mucous membrane swells and prevents adequate ventilation of the middle ear, so that a tympanic effusion occurs. However, if the tympanic effusion persists for a long time, a tumor in the ENT area must also be considered in adults, which must then be excluded.
  • Symptoms: The differences in symptoms and diagnosis are rather minor, although certain deviations in the frequency of different causes must of course be observed.
  • Treatment: In terms of treatment, there are differences between adults and children in that the child is more often treated by surgery by splitting the eardrum or removing polyps.
  • Consequences: Other important differences concern the consequences or complications of an inadequately treated tympanic effusion. This can have significant consequences for children, as they learn to speak language through their hearing. Due to the reduced hearing function, this can lead to impaired speech development, especially in small children, which may have to be treated with complex speech therapy and special exercises.

Flying with an effervescence

Since one is already exposed to enormous pressure fluctuations in the ear when flying, the question arises as to whether flying with tympanic effusion is a problem. It must be said that flying usually possible with slight tympanic effusion is, the ear is not damaged.

However, it can occur during takeoff and landing when the greatest pressure fluctuations occur, too uncomfortable feeling of pressure and pain because the pressure equalization in the middle ear is impaired by the tympanic effusion. Usually pressing against the closed nose helps to equalize the pressure.

If flying with ejaculation cannot be prevented, you can do some Precautions for Relief of symptoms hit. Before take-off and landing, it can help decongestant nasal drops You can also take light painkillers with you on the plane. Children in particular suffer from the pain when flying with tympanic effusions, so distraction is a good method here.

But if you suffer from one pronounced tympanic effusionwhich is accompanied by pain on the ground and at rest, one should rethink flying. In individual cases it can happen that the high pressure loads damage the ear, e.g. a Torn eardrum arise. In summary, it can be said that a simple tympanic effusion is not an obstacle to flying. In cases of doubt, however, it is advisable to obtain the assessment of a pediatrician or ENT specialist beforehand.

Swimming with an effervescence

The question of whether you can swim with a tympanic effusion arises particularly when it occurs in the child Ventilation tubes was inserted. Theoretically, water can enter the middle ear through the opening, which is normally sealed by the eardrum. However, it was found that even children with tubes and without plugs do not necessarily have water in their ears when they swim. This is likely due to the surface tension of the water and the anatomy of the ear canal. Easy swimming or splash around should thus no problem represent. However, must advised against diving as the water pressure is higher here. In spite of this, some people often get water in their ears while swimming and complain of frequent otitis media after swimming. Then one should refrain from doing it.