Ear infection – Middle

MIDDLE EAR INFECTION (Otitis media)

Otitis media, is a common, often painful, type of ear infection that occurs behind the eardrum.Usually, the middle ear is filled with air, but sometimes it gets filled with fluid or mucus. If the mucus gets infected with bacteria it causes an ear infection.

Otitis Media–

  1. Acute otitis media
  2. Chronic otitis media
Otitis media

Acute otitis media is a short-term ear infection that often comes on suddenly.

Otitis media with effusion (OME), also known as glue ear, is common in young children. It is caused by a build-up of fluid in the middle ear with no symptoms or signs of infection. Otitis media with effusion usually follows an episode of acute otitis media.

CAUSES—

  1. Bacterial
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus)
  • Nontypable Hemophilus influenzae 
  • Moraxella

2. Viral causes.

CHRONIC OTITIS MEDIA  is a middle ear infection that lasts for a long time or keeps coming back. As the symptoms are often less severe than those of an acute infection, the infection may go unnoticed and untreated for a long time. This may cause more damage than an acute infection. It often starts with a chronic middle ear effusion (fluid) that does not resolve. This persistent fluid often become contaminated with bacteria. Anything that disturbs the function of the Eustachian tube can lead to chronic otitis media.

CAUSES —

  • Allergies
  • Exposure to smoke, fumes, or toxins
  • Family history
  • Living in a cold climate
  • Not being breastfed as an infant
  • Perforated eardrum
  • Recent illnesses( upper respiratory infection or sinusitis)
  • Smoking and second hand smoke
  • Traveling to a different climate or altitude
  • Upper respiratory infection

Symptoms And Sign-

  1. Children
  • Ear pain, especially when lying down
  • Acting more irritable than usual
  • Crying more than usual
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty hearing or responding to sounds
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Drainage of fluid from the ear
  • Fever of 100 degree F (38 degree C) or higher
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of balance
  • Tugging or pulling at an ear
  • Vomiting

2. Adults

  • Ear pain
  • Drainage of fluid from the ear
  • Diminished hearing
  • Sore throat

Investigation–

  1. Examining the ear with an otoscope.
  2. Audiogram( to measure how much hearing loss has occurred)
  3. Tympanogram(measures the functioning of eustachian tube )
  4. a culture from the middle ear, through the eardrum. This is usually done by an otolaryngologist.

TREATMENT—–

  1. Medications
  2. Drinking extra fluids
  3. Extra rest and sleep
  4. Surgery

Complications–

  1. Temporary hearing loss during and right after an ear infection
  2. Ruptured/perforated eardrum
  3. Chronic,recurrent ear infections
  4. Enlarged adenoids or tonsils
  5. Mastoiditis
  6. Meningitis
  7. Cholesteatoma
  8. Speech or language delay

Prevention–

  1. Wash hands and toys frequently.
  2. Avoid pacifiers.
  3. Breastfeed (Makes a child much less prone to ear infections) If bottle feeding, hold your infant in an upright, seated position.
  4. Do not expose your child to second hand smoke.
  5. Child’s immunizations ( pneumococcal vaccine prevents infections from the bacteria that most commonly causes acute ear infections )
  6. Avoid overusing antibiotics

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