What is Otitis Media?
Otitis Media is the name given to a group of middle ear infections. These infections occur when the middle ear becomes inflamed and fills with fluid. Anyone can experience a middle ear infection but it is most common in infants.
The two main types of Otitis Media are Acute Otitis Media and Otitis Media with Effusion, which is more commonly referred to as ‘glue ear’.
An infection, such as the common cold, causes the build-up of mucus in the middle ear which causes the tube from the back of the nose to the middle ear (the Eustachian tube) to become blocked. This usually means the tube will swell meaning the mucus cannot drain away, causing the infection to spread into the middle ear. If the tissue located at the back of the throat (the adenoid) is enlarged due to infection, this can also cause a middle ear infection.
Otitis Media is most commonly found in infants as the Eustachian tube is smaller and the adenoids, are commonly larger.
Otitis Media Symptoms
The main symptoms of middle ear infections include:
- Ear pain
- High temperature/fever
- Hearing loss
- Nasal discharge
- Discharge from the ear
Signs to Look for in Young Children
- Irritation and restlessness
- Unresponsive due to lack of hearing
- Regular touching of the ear
- Cough and runny nose
- Loss of balance
How is Otitis Media Treated?
There is no specific treatment for Otitis Media as the infection usually clears up in 3-5 days. However, painkillers can be used to treat the symptoms.
For severe or persistent middle ear infections antibiotics are usually prescribed by a doctor or medical professional.
If you are worried about server or persistent ear infections book an appointment to see a Pall Mall Medical Private ENT Consultants who can help diagnose the root of the problem and recommend treatment and prevention.