Dizziness & Balance
The middle ear is also known as the tympanum. Hence an intratympanic injection is a procedure where a medication, typically a corticosteroid, is injected directly into the middle ear.
Intratympanic injections are an option in the treatment of Meniere’s disease, a condition characterised by repeated episodes of vertigo, tinnitus, ear blockage/fullness and hearing loss. If you have severe symptoms of Meniere’s disease, both corticosteroids and gentamicin injections have been used but with different treatment goals. You will need to have a detailed discussion with your doctor to decide which treatment approach is best for you.
Intratympanic injection can usually be performed comfortably while you are awake. The procedure requires the use of an operating microscope. Your doctor will first need to clean your ear canal and then apply a layer of topical anaesthetic cream on your eardrum. After about 15 minutes, your doctor will check that your eardrum is numb. He will then carefully insert a fine needle through the eardrum and gently fill the middle ear cavity with the medication. You will then be advised to remain in a lying position for about 30 min to allow the corticosteroid to diffuse into the inner ear. There is usually minimal or no bleeding at all with this procedure. Antibiotic ear drops may be prescribed for a few days as a preventive measure.