Dr. M.J. Bazos, MD.
OTITIS MEDIA (MIDDLE
Otitis media is an infection involving the
middle ear (the area between the eardrum and the Eustachian tube). This area
contains the nerves and small bones vital for hearing. Otitis media can affect
individuals of any age, but is most common in infants and children. It can be
caused by viruses or bacteria
to the middle ear through the Eustachian tube, usually during an upper
respiratory tract infection. It can also be caused by allergies, which cause the
sinuses and eustachian tube to become blocked, or by the rupture of the eardrum.
Otitis media is curable with treatment. Complications can occur if untreated,
such as hearing loss, mastoiditis, or chronic
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Signs and symptoms include
pain in the ear with a feeling of fullness or stuffiness, loss of hearing,
fever, and drainage from the ear. These may occur along with a cold or shortly
after. Your doctor will look in the ear to check for redness and protruding of
will be needed. Eardrops or heat applied to the ear may help relieve the pain.
Nonaspirin medications can be given to reduce fever and pain. Rest is
recommended until the fever and pain subside. No special diet is needed, but
fluid intake should be increased to help thin
• Take antibiotics as
prescribed. Finish all the medication because the infection can still be present
even after the symptoms subside.
Use nonaspirin medications to reduce fever and
• Use heat (a heating pad or
hot water bottle wrapped in a towel) to the ear to reduce
• Increase fluid
• Rest until the fever and
pain are gone.
• Don’t skip
doses or stop taking the
• Don’t swim until
the infection clears.
prolonged exposure to cigarette smoke. In young children this can increase the
chance of repeat infections.
Don’t put anything in the ear other than the drops prescribed by your
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• The earache lasts longer
than 2 days after treatment starts.
There is a severe headache or fever that continues after treatment
• There is redness or
swelling behind the ear.