Otitis Media
(Middle Ear Infection)

Otitis media

Definition
Inflammation of the middle ear, usually due to colds or allergies. The inflammation often leads to ear infections.
Occurs most often among infants and young children because their inner ears are less developed.

Symptoms

  • Ear pain and discomfort
  • Lose their appetite
  • Hearing loss
  • Snoring
  • Mouth breathing
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Children may have trouble sleeping

Causes
The auditory tube or Eustachian tube that connects the nose and throat to the middle ear works by balancing the pressure surrounding the eardrum. Mucus from the nose and throat can enter the middle ear through the Eustachian tube and lead to fluid build-up, obstruction, and inflammation.

Other factors that can lead to otitis media include:

  • Viruses
  • Bacteria
  • Cold or flu
  • Bottle-feeding while lying down
  • Exposure to cigarette smoke
  • Allergens that enter through nose and mouth

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