Otitis Media (Ear Infection)
Otitis Media, also known as an ear infection, is one of the most common conditions for which children require medical treatment. This condition also affects adults but to a much lesser degree.
An ear infection is common in young children, occurring in approximately 80% of all children. Ear infections are generally a bacterial infection, which often requires antibiotic treatment. Most infections are successfully treated with antibiotics. The infection commonly occurs after a child experiences a cold or flu. Unfortunately, when ear infections occurs too often or when antibiotics fail, hearing loss can occur, as well as speech and language delays. These problems often can impair a child’s learning ability and cause developmental delays.
Fortunately, most ear infections can be successfully diagnosed and treated effectively while reducing the chances for complications and long-term hearing damage.
Although serious complications such as mastoiditis (infection of the bone that houses the ear structures) and meningitis occur rarely, it is important that otitis media be treated thoroughly to prevent other complications.