Ear Infection (Otitis Media) 2


Definition

Otitis Media means inflammation of the middle ear. The inflammation occurs as a result of a middle ear infection and may occur in both ears.  It is also the most common cause of hearing loss in children. Although it is most common in children, it also affects adults occasionally.

Otitis Media is serious because of the severe earache and hearing loss and other complications it can create. Hearing loss, especially in children, may impair learning capacity and even delay speech development. However, if it is treated promptly and effectively, hearing can almost always be restored to normal.

Symptoms of Otitis Media

In adolescents and adults look for earache, feeling of fullness or pressure, hearing problems, dizziness, loss of balance, nausea, ear drainage and fever.

  • Pulling or scratching at the ear
  • Hearing problems
  • Crying and irritability
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Ear drainage

Causes of Otitis Media

Otitis Media is caused by a blockage of the eustachian tube during a cold, allergy, or upper respiratory infection and the presence of bacteria or viruses leading to a accumulation of fluid (a build-up of pus and mucus) behind the eardrum.

The build up of pressurized pus in the middle ear causes earache, swelling and redness. Since the eardrum cannot vibrate properly, you or your child may have hearing problems.

Otitis Media Examination

Otitis Media is generally not serious if it is promptly and properly treated.

During an examination, the doctor will use an instrument called an Otoscope to assess the ear’s condition. With the Otoscope, the doctor will perform an examination to check for redness in the ear and/or fluid behind the eardrum.

With the gentle use of air pressure, the doctor can also see if the eardrum moves. If the eardrum does not move and/or is red, an ear infection is probably present. Further evaluation may include an assessment by an Audiologist.

With the help of your physician, you and /or your child can feel and hear better very soon. Be sure to follow the treatment plan, and see your physician until he/she tells you that the condition is fully cured.


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