What is otitis media?
- Commonly called an “ear infection.”
- One of the most common medical conditions in children, affecting ~90% of children at some point before the age of 7.
What causes otitis media?
- Excessive negative pressure in the middle ear due to a chronically closed Eustachian tube.
- Pressure build up leads to a retraction of the eardrum and causes pain in the ear.
- The pressure in the middle ear causes a build up of fluid behind the eardrum, which may become infected with bacteria.
- Acute onset of ear pain, fever, and possibly discharge from the ear.
- Mild hearing loss or a sense of “muffled” hearing.
- Acute otitis media may resolve on its own after rupture of the eardrum and draining of fluid.
- Your physician may prescribe medication to treat otitis media.
- Chronic otitis media may require the placement of pressure equalization tubes to relieve negative pressure and allow the middle ear space to drain.
- In conjunction with treatment from your physician, an audiologist may monitor your hearing on a regularly scheduled basis.
Hearing Education Center > Disease Diagnosis & Treatment > Otitis Media