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    #1

    tympanitis

    What is the difference

    otitis media
    and
    tympanitis


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    #2

    Re: tympanitis

    Otitis media in an inflammation of the middle ear; Tympanitis is an inflammation of the inner ear.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: tympanitis

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    Otitis media in an inflammation of the middle ear; Tympanitis is an inflammation of the inner ear.
    I'd like to disagree.
    The tympanic membranic (ear drum) divides the external ear canal from the middle ear. It is not near the inner ear. Between the middle ear and the inner ear are the round and oval windows, which abutt on the ossicles in the inner ear.
    Inflammation of the inner ear might be vestibulitis, and there are other names depending on exactly which part is affected.
    In otitis media, the tympanic membrane is typically inflamed. Tympanitis (myringitis) usually occurs in otitis media. It could also be a part of otitis externa, since the outer part of the ear drum directly faces the ear canal. It is not otitis interna (inner ear inflammation)
    I'd be interested in the context in which you encountered the distinction, and what prompted you to ask.

    I note that many popular websites and free dictionaries are calling "tympanitis" an "inflammation of the inner ear". This is wrong. A quick look at a diagram of the ear will show that this is not possible.
    Here are some more authoritative sites:
    http://www.drugs.com/dict/tympanitis.html
    http://www.healthline.com/search?q1=...is%20Diagnosis
    http://dictionary.infoplease.com/tympanitis
    http://dictionary.die.net/tympanitis
    http://cancerweb.ncl.ac.uk/cgi-bin/omd?tympanitis
    http://encarta.msn.com/dictionary_18...ympanitis.html

    I assume that many sites simply infer that since the ear drum is "in" the ear, then tympanitis is inflammation of the inner ear. The example shows how wrong popular sites can be; and it also indicates how easily a wrong technical definition can be transmitted from one source to another.
    Last edited by Raymott; 08-Dec-2008 at 01:48.


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    #5

    Re: tympanitis

    I agree with Raymott.
    My medical dictionary (1985) says "tympanitis" is otitis media. My hard copy of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate dictionary (2003) doesn't list "tympanitis". But it does define 'tympanum' as drum, tympanic membrane, middle ear. The medical dictionary also defines 'tympanum' as the cavity of the middle ear.
    So if 'tympanitis' means something relating to the ear, it should relate to the middle ear not to the inner ear.
    But in fact there are relatively few references to "tympanitis" online, compared to those for 'otitis media" and 'inner ear disease'. Further, some of the references are quite confused. For example, Anglika's third reference first defines "tympanitis" as "inflammation of the inner ear" and then says that the term "otitis media" can be used for "tympanitis".

    Since there is confusion about the term "tympanitis", at least online, we should not use the term.

    'Vestibulitis' and 'labyrinthitis' are common terms for inflammation of the inner ear.

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: tympanitis

    Yes, I agree, it's quite a gross example of how a mistake can be re-generated on the internet.
    But the Online Medical Dictionary has got it right, ie. that tympanitis is part of otitis media (not otitis interna = inner ear inflammation).
    And the WrongDiagnosis site has the right definition when they source is "Stedman's Medical Spellchecker, 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.", but then gets it wrong when it cites WordNet 2.1
    Last edited by Raymott; 08-Dec-2008 at 08:15.

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