Otitis media is an infection of the middle ear that causes inflammation redness and swelling and a build-up of fluid behind the eardrum. The main symptoms include:. In some cases, a hole may develop in the eardrum perforated eardrum and pus may run out of the ear.
Skip to content. Otitis media is another name for a middle ear infection. It means an infection behind your eardrum.
A middle ear infection occurs behind the eardrum. It is most often caused by a virus or bacteria. Most kids have at least one middle ear infection by the time they are 3 years old.
The middle ear is the space behind the eardrum, which is connected to the back of the throat by a passageway called the Eustachian tube. Middle ear infections, also called otitis media, can occur when congestion from an allergy or cold blocks the Eustachian tube. Fluid and pressure build up, so bacteria or viruses that have traveled up the Eustachian tube into the middle ear can multiply and cause an ear infection.
The Eustachian tube, which drains fluids away from the middle ear, may become plugged due to a viral or bacterial infection, allowing a buildup of fluid to press against the eardrum. Adults are more likely to get infections from swimming, injuries such a foreign body in the earor following upper respiratory illnesses. The symptoms may be milder for recurring ear infections compared to more acute forms, may come and go, and affect one or both ears.
Middle ear infection is infection of the space immediately behind the eardrum. Middle ear infections otitis media may occur in older children and adults see Otitis Media Acute but are extremely common among children between the ages of 3 months and 3 years. These infections often accompany the common cold.
Five year old female with fluid in the middle ear. The air bubbles are easily seen and the fluid is thin and watery looking. Most likely the fluid will clear over the next few days.
Ear infections are one of the most common reasons parents take their children to the health care provider. The most common type of ear infection is called otitis media. It is caused by swelling and infection of the middle ear.
Ear infections may be more common in children than in adults, but grown-ups are still susceptible to these infections. Unlike childhood ear infections, which are often minor and pass quickly, adult ear infections are frequently signs of a more serious health problem. There are three main types of ear infections.