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Children's Health System - Alabama

Children's of Alabama
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Birmingham, AL 35233
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A to Z: Bullous Myringitis

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May also be called: Infectious Myringitis

Bullous myringitis is an infection of the tympanic membrane (the eardrum). Small fluid-filled blisters form on the eardrum and cause severe pain.

More to Know

More children get bullous myringitis than adults. It's spread by the same viruses and bacteria that cause middle ear infections (otitis media), so the two often happen together.

Pain comes on suddenly and lasts anywhere from 24 to 48 hours. Other symptoms may include drainage from the infected ear, temporary hearing loss, and fever.

Bullous myringitis is usually treated with antibiotics and pain killers. Sometimes the blisters need to be drained surgically.

Keep in Mind

Bullous myringitis is painful, but in most cases can be successfully treated with no lasting impact on hearing.

All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.