Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is a type of cancer that originates in the nasopharynx, which is the upper part of the throat located behind the nose.
The tympanic membrane, also known as the eardrum, separates the outer ear from the middle ear. Dullness of the tympanic membrane, along with deafness and tinnitus, can be clinical manifestations of NPC that has spread to the middle ear.
In advanced cases of NPC, the tumor can grow and invade nearby structures, including the middle ear, leading to hearing loss and tinnitus. The dullness of the tympanic membrane may result from blockage or thickening of the eustachian tube, which connects the middle ear to the back of the nose and helps to equalize the pressure in the middle ear.
Therefore, the presence of dull tympanic membrane, deafness, and tinnitus in a patient with NPC suggests that the cancer has advanced and spread to adjacent structures. It is important to note that these symptoms can also be caused by other conditions, and a proper diagnosis requires a thorough evaluation by a healthcare professional.