Ear Infection, Otitis Media

Ear Infection, Otitis Media

Ear infection is also known as acute otitis media. This condition is characterized by infection of the middle ear, the air-filled space behind the eardrum that contains the tiny vibrating bones of the ear. Usually children are at increase risk of having ear infection.


Symptoms usually have acute onset.

In children infection presents as:Ear Infection, Otitis Media Causes Symptoms Treatment

  • Pain in the ear, especially when lie down
  • Pulling or tugging at an ear
  • More frequent crying than usual
  • Trouble during sleeping
  • Problem in responding to sound
  • Problem in hearing
  • Fussiness
  • Imbalance during walking
  • High grade fever
  • Reduce appetite

In adults, this infection presents as:

  • Pain in ear
  • Fluid drainage from ear
  • Problem in hearing

Infection in ear is caused by bacterial or viral infection in the middle ear. Infection can be the result of another illness like cold, flu or allergy. Swelling of eustachian tubes and adenoids can result in middle ear infection. Other conditions that are related to acute otitis media are chronic otitis media with effusion and chronic suppurative otitis media.


Diagnosis of this condition depends upon detailed medical history and complete examination of ears, throat and nasal passage with a lighted instrument, otoscope. Other test include tympanometry.


Treatment options include:

  • Some infections are self limiting and can resolve on it’s own without any antibiotics.
  • Pain is managed by painkillers and anesthetic drops in the ear.
  • Antibiotic therapy
  • A surgical procedure, myringotomy, is sometimes considered
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