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.

Learn more about Ear Infec­tion Treat­ment Options >