Otitis Media: Middle-Ear Infection – Causes, Risk Factors & Treatment

Otitis Media: Middle-Ear Infection – Causes, Risk Factors & Treatment



Otitis media is also called a middle ear infection. It happens when bacteria cause inflammation behind the area of the eardrum. It is likely common in children. According to research recently conducted by the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford, It occurs in 80 percent of children by the time they reach age 3. Nevertheless, it in adults may indicate more serious problems than in children. So if a patient may need additional tests. If they have otitis media, They should see their health care provider for treatment.

Middle ear infections happen in early spring and winter. Often, It is relieved without any medicine. However, if a patient feels discomfort should ask for medical treatment if the pain persists.


Are there types of otitis media?

There are two types of middle ear infection

  • Acute otitis media (AOM)

It causes redness and swelling. Fluid and mucus become tangled inside the ear, and a patient may have a fever and ear pain.

  • Otitis media with effusion (OME)

 Fluid (effusion) and mucus accumulate gradually in the middle ear after the infection is relieved. a patient may feel like their middle ear is full. This may affect your hearing.

  • Chronic otitis media with effusion

Fluid (effusion) stays in the middle ear for a long time. Or it accumulates gradually again and again, even though there is no infection. This type may be hard to treat. It may also affect your hearing.


What are the symptoms of otitis media?

There are a variety of symptoms affiliated with it. Some of the most common are:

  • Ear pain
  • Irritability
  • Poor sleeping
  • Tugging at the ears
  • Fever
  • Yellow or bloody discharge from the ears
  • Loss of balance
  • Trouble hearing
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss appetite


What are the causes?

There are several reasons why people get a middle ear infection. They often derive from a prior infection of the respiratory tract that extends to the ears. When the eustachian tube (the tube that links the middle ear to the pharynx) is clogged, fluid will collect behind the eardrum. Bacteria will often increase in the fluid, causing discomfort and infection. This infection frequently results from another disease, cold, flu, or allergic reaction, that causes congestion and swelling of the nasal passages, throat, and eustachian tubes.


Risk factors

  • Age

Children whose age is between the ages of 6 months and 2 years are more predisposed to otitis media because of their eustachian tubes’ size and because their immune systems are still growing.

  • Poor air quality

 Exposure to air pollution or smoking can increase the risk of middle ear infections.

  • Seasonal factors

Otitis media happens in early spring and winter. People with seasonal allergies may have a greater risk of Otitis media.

  • Cleft palate

Cleft palates may make it harder for the eustachian tube to drain.


How to control otitis media?

There are several ways to diminish a child’s risk of middle ear infection:

  1. Wash your hands and your child’s hands frequently.
  2. Stay away from smoky environments.
  3. Child immunizations are extremely crucial
  4. Hold your baby’s bottle yourself always and  Wean them off the bottle when they turn 1 year old.


What is the treatment of otitis media?

There are several ways of treatment. A physician will determine the treatment according to medical history, health, and child’s age.

 Physicians will also consider the following:

  • the severity of the infection
  • the ability of a child to accept antibiotics

If the symptoms stay more than three days, this means a physician will recommend antibiotics. However, antibiotics won’t cure an infection if it’s caused by a virus.


Request an appointment if you want to see an otolaryngologist by CliniDo