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