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OTITIS MEDIA - ACUTE
Otitis media is a general term used to describe inflammation of the middle ear which may be caused by an acute infection.
The symptoms are usually nonspecific and include otalgia (pulling of ear in an infant), irritability, otorrhea with or without fever.
Symptoms of upper respiratory tract infection may also be present.

Differential Diagnosis

Otitis Externa

  • May cause ear ache similar to acute otitis media (AOM) but has a normal-appearing eardrum

Foreign Body

  • May cause pain & should be suspected particularly in children

Otitis Media w/ Effusion (OME)

  • Typically diagnosed if there is middle ear effusion (MEE) on pneumatic otoscopy w/o signs of acute inflammation
  • Otoscopy may show retracted tympanic membrane w/ color change; bulging eardrum is usually absent
  • Main symptom is hearing loss

Myringitis

  • Inflammation of the tympanic membrane usually associated w/ viral upper respiratory tract infection (URTI)

Chronic Suppurative Otitis Media

  • Persistent inflammation associated w/ perforated tympanic membrane & drainage of exudate for >6 weeks
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