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Myringitis

(Bullous Myringitis)

By

Taha A. Jan

, MD, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Reviewed/Revised Jan 2024
VIEW 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. 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) , but myringitis does not cause pus or fluid to develop in the middle ear. Pain begins suddenly and lasts for 24 to 48 hours. People with myringitis may have some hearing loss and a fever.

Doctors diagnose myringitis by looking at the eardrum with an otoscope (a handheld light used to look at the ear canal and eardrum).

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: VIEW PROFESSIONAL VERSION
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