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Otitis Media

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Otitis Media Treatment & Diagnostics in Koramangala, Bangalore

Otitis Media

Otitis media refers to microbial infection or inflammation in the middle ear (hence, the name media). It is a secondary infection caused by severe cold, sore throat or any other upper respiratory tract infection. Otitis media may subside after some time in most cases, and some may need administration of topical antibiotics. However, if it still persists, kindly consult an ENT specialist near you for expert opinion.

What is otitis media?

Otitis media occurs in the air-filled space just behind the eardrum, generally referred to as the middle ear. This part contains the smaller bones which are responsible for vibrations in the ear to help in hearing. Children are slightly more prone to developing this condition. They develop upper respiratory tract infection, wherein pathogens trap water and fluids behind the eardrum causing inflammation, swelling and pain. Children might be prescribed antibiotics for treatment of mild symptoms. Most infections subside on their own once the primary condition is healed.

What are the symptoms of otitis media?

When occurring in children, symptoms can include:

  • Excessive fussiness and crying
  • Fever
  • Ear pain and tendency to pull ears to get rid of the pain
  • Sleeping issues
  • Drainage and fluids in the ear
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite and refusal to eat

When occurring in adults, the common symptoms include:

  • Ear pain
  • Drainage from the ears
  • Hearing problems in severe conditions

What causes otitis media?

  • The eustachian tube gets infected with bacteria and virus during infection.
  •  This eustachian tube connects the middle ear to the back of the throat.
  • When infected, the eustachian tube gets swelled up, and its size being shorter in children, causes the swelling to worsen and get clogged.
  • In both children and adults, the infected eustachian tube causes the body fluids to accumulate and it becomes difficult to drain those out.
  • This fluid can also get infected with = pathogen and cause puss, pain and swelling

When do you need to see a doctor?

Normally, with the primary condition subsiding (cold, flu or any respiratory infection), otitis media gets resolved on its own. Children might be less tolerant towards the tingling sensation and pain caused and may need antibiotic treatments relatively sooner. However, if the pain persists and causes hearing issues, it is better to consult an ENT specialist in Delhi immediately.

Request an appointment at Apollo Hospitals, Karol Bagh, New Delhi.

Call 1860 500 2244 to book an appointment.

What are the risk factors for otitis media?

  • Primary upper respiratory infections like cold, flu, severe cough
  • Children less than two years of age
  • People with a family history of ear infections
  •  People with allergies 
  • People with severe conditions involving a compromised immune system and chronic conditions like cystic fibrosis and asthma

What are the possible complications?

The initial stage of otitis media is also known as acute otitis media which is not severe and subsides on its own or with minor medication.

  • If fluid keeps accumulating, it leads to otitis media with effusion which can be asymptomatic, but harbour the infected fluid for a long time, causing temporary hearing issues.
  • If this condition is left untreated, it leads to chronic, suppurative otitis media. The eardrums may also get perforated due to persistent pressure from the built-up fluids, this, apart from hearing loss and speech and language impairment in children.
  • More severe cases spread to the meninges of the brain.

How is otitis media treated?

  • Antibiotics are the preferred modes of treatment as the infections are primarily microbial
  • Drugs like acetaminophen and ibuprofen are prescribed to relieve pain
  • Surgical placement of ear tubes in children in severe (chronic) cases

Request an appointment at Apollo Hospitals, Karol Bagh, New Delhi.

Call 1860 500 2244 to book an appointment.

Conclusion

Otitis media can be a minor concern in most cases, but children might be prone to severe cases if not taken care of from the beginning.

How do I prevent my child from getting otitis media?

Take good care of your child, prevent him/her from catching cold, and keep him/her away from smoke; antibodies in breast milk also have a protective function.

When do I call a doctor for my child?

If you notice a stiff neck, constant pulling of ears or your child suffering from cold, fever and crying constantly, it is time to consult an ENT specialist near you.

Will my child keep getting ear infections?

The tendency to catch ear infections in children stops by around eight years.

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