Inner Ear Infection

In the occurrence and development of inner ear infection and auditory nerve have a great importance of properties of the microbe or virus, their affinity to various tissues and systems. This explains the diversity of clinical symptomatology, course and outcome of diseases of the inner ear in various infections.

One of the most significant properties of the ear pathology is neurotropic agent. This property is most clearly expressed in the pathogen of epidemic cerebrospinal meningitis, meningococcal – and affects the localization of pathological changes mainly in the cerebrospinal fluid and in the meninges. For meningitis and its links with the defeat of the inner ear are interesting observations.

The complete deafness occurs sometimes in the first 24 hours of illness, and in some cases even deafness preceded the appearance of meningeal symptoms. Major pathologic changes in the inner ear have been found in children who died on the first day of illness. These facts can be explained by the tropism of meningococcal not only to the cerebrospinal fluid, but also to the perilymph of the inner ear. This, apparently, and is related to the high incidence and severity of diseases of the inner ear with cerebrospinal meningitis.

In other types of meningitis – streptococcal, pneumococcal, tuberculosis – the defeat of the maze is very rare. When otogenic meningitis or during illness or after recovery is not observed loss function of the inner ear, except when purulent labyrinthitis (otogenic) preceded meningitis. However, in this case there is only a one-sided deafness; with cerebrospinal meningitis deafness is usually bilateral. According to statistics from the German authors (1905-1907), from 2861 patient cerebrospinal meningitis in 98 had a bilateral hearing loss, and one-way-only 8.


Neurotropic infections can cause retro labyrinth illness of nerve trunk, its nucleus and conductors. In this case, it is often accompanied by involvement of other cranial nerves – facial, trigeminal, etc.
Labyrinthitis usually leads to permanent loss or distortion as the cochlear and vestibular function. Often it is the only effect of previous infection. Precede or accompany disease ear inflammation of the meninges and fluid ends without significant involvement of other skull cranial nerves.

The consequence of neurotropic infections can also be meningo-encephalitis with lesions of the nuclei of individual nerves, including the cochlear and vestibular, but complete loss of their functions is thus very rare.
Neurotropic than meningococcus, have, apparently, and other pathogens. This property is attributed to, among other things, mumps, where sometimes there is a sudden loss of vestibular and cochlear function with severe acute labyrinthine pattern of attack. In some cases falls only auditory function.

Many authors attribute these phenomena with labyrinthitis, developing meningogennym way. This is supported by the identified symptoms of meningitis in mumps. However, these symptoms are present only in very small proportion of patients with mumps, in addition, the vast majority of patients who became deaf, absolutely no symptoms of intracranial disease. Simultaneous destruction of other cranial nerves is a very rare and happens only when complications of mumps meningo-encephalitis.
It was felt the direct effects of toxins on the nerve endings in the labyrinth or the trunk of the nerve, but the toxicity is known to be defeated in most cases it is bilateral.

The inner ear is the receptor apparatus of the two most important analyzers – vestibular and auditory. Regardless of the nature of the inner ear infection involvement in the pathological process of these receptors are accompanied by vestibular and cochlear symptoms, which quite effectively detected using a variety of subjective and objective methods.

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