Ear infection (middle ear)

21:54 - 4 May , 2021

Disease

What is Ear infection (middle ear)?

Also called acute otitis media, it is an infectious process that develops in the middle ear, which is the cavity where the tiny vibrating auditory bones are located, separated from the inner and outer ear by the tympanic membrane. It is a condition that affects people of any age, but it shows a higher incidence in infants, in whom there may be a propensity to develop recurrent infections, causing hearing difficulties and complications such as:
  • Temporary or permanent hearing loss.
  • Language problems and developmental delay in children.
  • Spread of infection to other tissues or organs.
  • Torn eardrum
The causes of infectious processes in the middle ear are usually the effect of conditions such as influenza, flu, or allergies, which congest the nasal passages and throat, causing inflammation in the eustachian tubes, which generates fluid accumulation in the middle ear.

Symptoms

In children:
  • Trouble sleeping.
  • Excessive crying.
  • Restlessness.
  • Hearing difficulties.
  • Sore ear.
  • Constantly touching the ears.
  • Balance problems.
  • High fever.
  • Secretions that ooze from the ear.
  • Headache.
  • Lack of appetite.
In adults:
  • Sore ear.
  • Secretions that ooze from the ear.
  • Hearing problems.
To prevent ear infections, follow these recommendations:
  • Avoid getting the flu and other respiratory ailments by keeping good hand hygiene and not having contact with sick people.
  • Do not smoke and do not expose yourself to secondhand smoke.
  • Provide your baby with breast milk or if you bottle-feed, do so vertically.
  • Get vaccinated against influenza, pneumococcus, and others.

Diagnosis and treatment

Once your doctor analyzes your or your child’s symptoms and clinical history, they will perform a physical examination in which, they will use an otoscope to check the ears, nose, and throat, among others. To confirm the diagnosis, they may request a tympanometry and an acoustic reflectometry. The treatment to be followed is established based on age, the symptoms’ magnitude, and general health, but normally include antibiotics, painkillers, anti-inflammatories, or in more serious cases, surgical procedures to drain the fluid present in the middle ear. At ABC Medical Center’s Internal Medicine Department, we offer health care services with the highest quality and safety, from the prevention, diagnosis, timely treatment, and monitoring of infectious, respiratory, endocrinological, dermatological, rheumatic, nephrological, gastrointestinal, and hematological pathologies of both chronic-degenerative diseases and acute conditions, through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary model.

Fuentes:

  • medlineplus.gov
  • mayoclinic.org
  • msdmanuals.com
  • hopkinsmedicine.org
  • topdoctors.es
  • medigraphic.com
  • Vivar-Acevedo E, Sánchez-Castro GF. Fístula laberíntica en oído crónicamente infectado. Otorrinolaringología. 2016;61(4):289-295.
  • Jerves UME, Boronat EN, Aguirre MH, et al. Bacteriología en casos de niños con otitis media con efusión. Enf Infec Microbiol. 2011;31(2):52-59.
  • Hernández VG, Pirrón LJA. Otitis media crónica no colesteatomatosa complicada y tuberculoma de tallo cerebral. Comunicación de un caso. Otorrinolaringología. 2009;54(2):77-83.
  • Boronat-Echeverría NE, Kageyama-Escobar AM, Méndez-Tovar L. Otitis externa micótica en pacientes con otitis media crónica. Otorrinolaringología. 2005;50(1):45-55.

						
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