• Acute Otitis Media

    • 25 Mar 2020
    • Posted By : Dr. Hitesh B. Shah


    Acute otitis media (AOM) is a painful type of ear infection. It occurs when the area behind the eardrum called the middle ear becomes inflamed and infected.

    The following behaviors in children often mean they have AOM:

    • fits of fussiness and intense crying (in infants)
    • clutching the ear while wincing in pain (in toddlers)
    • complaining about a pain in the ear (in older children)

    What are the symptoms of acute otitis media?

    Infants and children may have one or more of the following symptoms:

    • crying
    • irritability
    • sleeplessness
    • pulling on the ears
    • ear pain
    • a headache
    • neck pain
    • a feeling of fullness in the ear
    • fluid drainage from the ear
    • a fever
    • vomiting
    • diarrhea
    • irritability
    • a lack of balance
    • hearing loss

    What causes acute otitis media?

    The eustachian tube is the tube that runs from the middle of the ear to the back of the throat. An AOM occurs when your child’s eustachian tube becomes swollen or blocked and traps fluid in the middle ear. The trapped fluid can become infected. In young children, the eustachian tube is shorter and more horizontal than it is in older children and adults. This makes it more likely to become infected.

    The eustachian tube can become swollen or blocked for several reasons:

    • allergies
    • a cold
    • the flu
    • a sinus infection
    • infected or enlarged adenoids
    • cigarette smoke
    • drinking while laying down (in infants)