A to Z: Otitis Media (Ear Infection)

A to Z: Otitis Media (Ear Infection)

A to Z: Otitis Media (Ear Infection)

Also called: Ear Infection; Earache

Otitis media (oh-TY-tus ME-dee-uh) is an infection of the middle ear.

More to Know

Bacteria and viruses can cause fluid to build up in the middle ear, leading to infection. This creates pain and pressure.

Without treatment, otitis media can cause hearing loss. An ear infection that causes hearing loss may affect speech and language development in a young child.

Keep in Mind

Most ear infections are painful but clear up without any lasting problems. A doctor can determine whether treatment with antibiotics can help. If a child has a history of many ear infections, a doctor might recommend ear tube surgery.

All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.

Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

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Related Resources
Web SiteOtolaryngology Resources on the Internet Recommended resources from the Bobby R. Alford Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Communicative Sciences.
OrganizationAmerican Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) The AAP is committed to the health and well-being of infants, adolescents, and young adults. The website offers news articles and tips on health for families.
OrganizationAmerican Academy of Family Physicians This site, operated by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), provides information on family physicians and health care, a directory of family physicians, and resources on health conditions.
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