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.


  • Otitis media is the general term used to describe fluid in & inflammation of the middle ear


  • Acute otitis media (AOM) is the inflammation may be caused by an acute infection or brought about by dysfunction of the Eustachian tube


Acute Otitis Media (AOM)

  • Streptococcus pneumoniae & Haemophilus influenzae are the most common causes of AOM
  • Moraxella catarrhalis is occasionally isolated; group A beta-hemolytic streptococcus & S aureus are other rare causes

Signs and Symptoms

  • Commonly unilateral & include otalgia, otorrhea w/ or w/o fever, diminished hearing, dysequilibrium
  • Symptoms of upper respiratory tract infection (eg cough, nasal discharge or stuffiness, sore throat) or exacerbation of allergic rhinitis may also be present

Middle Ear Inflammation

  • Apparent erythema of the tympanic membrane
  • Otalgia is apparent by noticeable discomfort of the ears that causes interference w/ or prevents normal sleep or activity
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