Common Name/Other Name
Middle ear infection (Eng.); tulok; impeksyon sa loob ng tainga (Tag.)
Acute otitis media is a common bacterial or viral infection due to the build-up of fluids in the middle ear especially among infants and children. It is often a result of another disease that causes congestion and swelling of the nasal passages, throat and Eustachian tube. The Eustachian tube can become swollen or blocked due to allergies, respiratory infections, a sudden increase in pressure, drinking while lying down and inhaling tobacco smoke. Once the Eustachian tube is blocked, the mucus cannot drain out of the middle ear leading to infection and inflammation.
The onset of symptoms are sudden. It usually presents with ear pain, drainage of fluid from ear and diminished hearing.
A doctor can easily diagnose acute otitis media using a pneumatic otoscope which is used to look inside the ears and determine the presence of fluid behind the eardrum. Other diagnostic tests include tympanometry, reflectometry and hearing test.
Untreated otitis media can progress as infections in the other parts of the head, permanent hearing loss and problems with speech and language development.
Drainage of fluid from the ear
Additional symptoms that can be observed in children include the following:
Tugging or pulling the ears
Commonly Prescribed Drugs
- Pain relievers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen can be used to reduce ear pain.
Antibiotics are usually given as ear drops to address the infection. Some commonly prescribed antibiotics for otitis media include the following:
- Amoxicillin is the antibiotic of choice if bacterial infection is severe or does not immediately resolve.
- Cephalosporins such as cefdinir, cefuroxime, cefpodoxime and ceftriaxone are used as alternative drugs if the patient is allergic to penicillin.