Chronic Inflammation of the ear can have various possible causes, the most important being inadequate treatment of acute ear infections, especially in patients who also have poor ventilation of the ear, due to dysfunction of the Eustachian tube. Chronic Otitis is typically combined with a tympanic membrane perforation (hole in the eardrum). Symptoms are hearing loss, tinnitus (buzzing or noises in the ear), and recurring purulent discharge.
In some cases of chronic otitis, skin cells are accumulated in a sac, which is formed inside the middle ear cavity. This sac, which is called cholesteatoma, expands inside the ear and can erode bone and threaten important structures, such as the facial nerve or the brain dura.
Exacerbations of chronic otitis are treated with local debridement by the doctor and application of ear drops, containing antibiotics and cortisone. However, permanent treatment of chronic otitis is surgical.