Acute Otitis Media
Acute Otitis media is an acute infection of the middle ear and eardrum, by pus forming organisms and commonly seen in infants and younger children.
Otitis media is caused by either a viral or bacterial infection of the middle ear. It often follows a cold or upper respiratory tract infection. This infection causes inflammation of the Eustachian tube and prevents normal fluid drainage from the middle ear or the infection can travel via the tube into the middle ear.
Factors that may predispose otitis media include allergies resulting in repeated upper respiratory infections, secondhand smoke exposure, bottle feeding when laying supine or flat and family history of ear infections
Ear Pain is the most common symptom. Often infants and young children may not be able to localize the pain and may be fussy, irritable and sleep poorly.
Other symptoms of otitis media include: Hearing loss, ringing or buzzing sounds in the ear, full or plugged sensation in the ear, fever, occasionally, discharge from the ear (the eardrum ruptures and the infected fluid drains out).
The treatment of acute otitis media includes antibiotics, pain killers and medication for cold. Rarely, surgical intervention in the form of a myringotomy is required to drain the pus.