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Today in Health & Wellness
HEALTH CONDITIONS

Ear Infections - Otitis Media

Overview
Symptoms
Treatment and Management
Doctors to Consult
Overview

Otitis media is an inflammation and infection of the middle ear (the chamber behind the eardrum lined with membrane). It often is related to an inflammation or infection of the throat or the passageway that connects the middle ear to the back of the throat (eustachian tube).

When the opening of the eustachian tube is inflamed or obstructed, the normal ventilation of the middle ear is disrupted, leading to pressure changes and an accumulation of fluid inside the middle ear.

Blockage of the eustachian tubes may be caused by the following:

  • Respiratory infection
  • Allergies
  • Tobacco smoke or other environmental irritants
  • Infected or overgrown adenoids
  • Sudden increase in pressure (such as during an airplane landing)
  • Drinking while lying on the back
Symptoms
  • Earache characterized by sharp, sudden pain or, continuous pain)
  • Fever and chills
  • Nausea and diarrhea accompanied by an earache
  • Muffled hearing
  • Watery fluid discharge from the infected ear
  • Partial deafness in the affected area
Risk Factors
Commonly Prescribed Drugs
Treatment and Management
  • Eliminate food allergens. Common allergenic foods are dairy products, soy, citrus, peanuts, wheat, fish, eggs, corn, and tomatoes.
  • Eardrops may be effective at reducing infection, pain, and fluid accumulation.
  • A hot pack applied to the ear and side of the neck may relieve pain.
  • Gentle massaging of the neck may assist lymph flow, which may speed healing.
  • If symptoms persist for more than 3 days, consult a doctor.
Home Remedies
Doctors to Consult
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