Merck Manual

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Myringitis

(Bullous Myringitis)

By

Richard T. Miyamoto

, MD, MS, Indiana University School of Medicine

Last full review/revision Mar 2022| Content last modified Sep 2022
CLICK HERE FOR THE PROFESSIONAL VERSION

Myringitis is a bacterial or viral infection of the eardrum.

The eardrum becomes inflamed, and small, fluid-filled blisters (vesicles) form on its surface. Although vesicles may also be present in otitis media Otitis Media (Acute) Acute otitis media is a bacterial or viral infection of the middle ear. Acute otitis media often occurs in people with a cold or allergies. The infected ear is painful. Doctors examine the eardrum... read more Otitis Media (Acute) , myringitis does not cause pus or fluid in the middle ear. Pain begins suddenly and lasts for 24 to 48 hours. There may be some hearing loss and fever.

Doctors diagnose myringitis by looking at the eardrum with an otoscope.

Because it is difficult to tell whether the infection is viral or bacterial, most people are treated with antibiotics and pain relievers (analgesics). Analgesics may be given by mouth or as ear drops. A doctor may need to rupture the vesicles with a small blade to relieve the pain.

NOTE: This is the Consumer Version. DOCTORS: CLICK HERE FOR THE PROFESSIONAL VERSION
CLICK HERE FOR THE PROFESSIONAL VERSION
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