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Middle Ear Infection

Inflammation of the anatomical structures of the middle ear secondary to an infectious process. Bacterial etiology is most common, but both viral and fungal pathogens are also possible. Symptoms include erythema and edema of the tympanic membrane, pain, and possibly fever. In severe infections, inflammation and edema of the structures of the middle ear can lead to perforation of the tympanic membrane secondary to the buildup of pressure in the narrow space

Symptoms of Middle Ear Infection

The following features are indicative of Middle Ear Infection:
  • ear pain
  • tugging or pulling at an ear
  • difficulty sleeping
  • difficulty hearing
  • loss of balance
  • fever
  • headache
  • loss of appetite
It is possible that Middle Ear Infection shows no physical symptoms and still be present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Middle Ear Infection

The following are the most common causes of Middle Ear Infection:
  • allergies
  • colds and sinus infections
  • excess mucus and saliva produced during teething
  • infected or overgrown adenoids
  • tobacco smoke

Risk Factors for Middle Ear Infection

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Middle Ear Infection:
  • 6 months to 2 years child
  • group child care
  • infant feeding
  • seasonal factors
  • poor air quality

Prevention of Middle Ear Infection

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Middle Ear Infection. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • prevent common colds and other illnesses
  • avoid secondhand smoke
  • breast-feed the baby
  • talk to doctor about vaccinations

Occurrence of Middle Ear Infection

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Middle Ear Infection cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Middle Ear Infection can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Middle Ear Infection can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Middle Ear Infection

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Middle Ear Infection:
  • Laboratory test: To detect a bacterial infection of middle ear
  • Tuning fork evaluation: To detect hearing loss
  • Tympanometry: To measure the response of eardrum to slight changes in air pressure
  • Audiology exam: To measure hearing power

Doctor for Diagnosis of Middle Ear Infection

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Middle Ear Infection:
  • Otolaryngologist

Complications of Middle Ear Infection if untreated

Yes, Middle Ear Infection causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Middle Ear Infection is left untreated:
  • hearing loss
  • middle ear infection (otitis media)
  • middle ear cyst
  • brain abscess (rare)
  • erosion into the facial nerve (causing facial paralysis)
  • meningitis
  • spread of the cyst into the brain

Procedures for Treatment of Middle Ear Infection

The following procedures are used to treat Middle Ear Infection:
  • Surgery: To facilitate the removal of cholesteatoma
  • Eardrum patch: To close the hole of ear

Self-care for Middle Ear Infection

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Middle Ear Infection:
  • Keep the ear dry: To avoid further spreading of infection
  • Refrain from cleaning the ears: To heal the eardrum completely

Patient Support for Treatment of Middle Ear Infection

The following actions may help Middle Ear Infection patients:
  • Join support groups: Helps the children in dealing with hearing problems
  • Family support: Family support plays a role in learning new things by children

Time for Treatment of Middle Ear Infection

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Middle Ear Infection to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • In 6 months - 1 year

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Middle Ear Infection.
Middle Ear Infection
Otitis Media with Effusion

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