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Ear anatomy
Ear anatomy


Medical findings based on ear anatomy
Medical findings based on ear anatomy


Middle ear infection (otitis media)
Middle ear infection (otitis media)


Definition:

Otitis is a general term for infection or inflammation of the ear.



Alternative Names:

Ear infection; Infection - ear



Causes, incidence, and risk factors:

Otitis can affect the inner or outer parts of the ear. The condition is classified according to whether it occurs suddenly and for a short time (acute) or repeatedly over a long period of time (chronic).

Specific types of ear infection include:



Symptoms:

Symptoms may include:



Signs and tests:

Your health care provider will examine your ears and use an instrument called an otoscope to look inside them. Signs that may be seen during an exam include a red, painful outer ear or redness or swelling of the eardrum.



Treatment:

Treatment may include antibiotics or ear drops, depending on the suspected cause of the infection.



Support Groups:



Expectations (prognosis):

Most types of ear infection respond well to treatment. If there is no improvement after 3 days, your doctor may recommend a different antibiotic. In certain uncomplicated cases, a child over 6 months of age who does not have a fever may not be given medicine unless the infection continues after 48-72 hours. For more specific outlooks and recommendations, see the following articles:



Complications:



Calling your health care provider:

Call for an appointment with your health care provider if you develop symptoms of otitis.



Prevention:




Review Date: 12/1/2008
Reviewed By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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