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Otitis Media, Pediatric Ear Infections

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Managing Otitis Media With Effusion in Young Children (Includes Algorithm), American Academy of Pediatrics:"Otitis media (inflammation of the middle ear) is the most frequent primary diagnosis at visits to US physician offices by children younger than 15 years. Otitis media particularly affects infants and preschoolers: almost all children experience one or more episodes of otitis media before age 6. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the American Academy of Otolaryngology--Head and Neck Surgery, with the review and approval of the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research of the US Department of Health and Human Services, convened a panel of experts to develop a guideline on otitis media for providers and consumers of health care for young children. Providers include primary care and specialist physicians, professional nurses and nurse practitioners, physician assistants, audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and child development specialists. Because the term otitis media encompasses a range of diseases, from acute to chronic and with or without symptoms, the Otitis Media Guideline Panel narrowed the topic."
American Academy of Pediatrics
141 Northwest Point Blvd., Elk Grove Village, IL, 60007


Otitis Media,"Acute otitis media (AOM) is an infection of the middle ear. AOM most commonly occurs in children, and it is the single most frequent specific diagnosis of febrile children. Physicians, including those in the ED, often overdiagnose it. Treatment of AOM varies by country. European physicians treat it with symptomatic relief medications and close observation for several days. Antibiotics are used only when necessary to prevent complications or for patients who do not show signs of resolution in several days. American physicians more frequently begin treatment with antibiotics and then see the patient in a follow-up visit after several weeks. Complications are rare after a diagnosis of AOM, and the most frequent complications, including serous otitis media (OM) and spontaneous perforation of the tympanic membrane, initially are not serious." Main Office
1004 Farnam Street, Suite 300 Omaha, Nebraska 68102
Office: 402-341-3222 Fax: 402-341-3336C


Questions and Answers about Otitis Media, Hearing and Language Development:"How common is otitis media? Otitis media occurs most frequently in children. In fact, it ranks second to the common cold as the most common health problem in preschool children. Fifty percent of children have had at least one episode by one year of age. Between one and three years, 35% will have had repeated episodes. For school children, an estimated 5 million school days are missed every year due to otitis media."
Karen Dillon
408.253.0246 (voice) 408.253.7391 (fax)


Ear Infection (Otitis Media and Externa), HOW LONG WILL IT LAST? McKinley Health Center:"The time needed for the infection to clear up varies from person to person. Usually people begin to feel better several days after they start to take medication, but in the case of OM, some of the symptoms, such as a feeling of fullness or pressure in the ear, may last for several weeks. OM should be treated for a minimum of 10 days, although shorter regimens are being considered. OE should be treated for 5-7 days."
McKinley Health Center
Business Office Room 111
1109 South Lincoln Avenue Urbana, Illinois 61801
(217) 333-2719


What is otitis media? MedicineNet, Inc.:"Otitis media is inflammation of the middle ear. Otitis media can be acute or chronic. Acute otitis media is usually of rapid onset and short duration. Acute otitis media typically causes fluid accumulation in the middle ear together with signs or symptoms of ear infection; a bulging eardrum usually accompanied by pain, or a perforated eardrum, often with drainage of purulent material (pus). Fever can be present. Chronic otitis media is a persistent inflammation of the middle ear, typically for a minimum of a month. This is in distinction to an acute ear infection (acute otitis media) that usually lasts only several weeks. Following an acute infection, fluid (an effusion) may remain behind the ear drum (tympanic membrane) for up to 3 months before resolving. Chronic otitis media may develop after a prolonged period of time with fluid (effusion) or negative pressure behind the eardrum (tympanic membrane). Chronic otitis media can cause ongoing damage to the middle ear and eardrum and there may be continuing drainage through a hole in the eardrum. Chronic otitis media often starts painlessly without fever. Ear pressure or popping can be persistent for months. Sometimes a subtle loss of hearing can be due to chronic otitis media."
MedicineNet, Inc.
903 Calle Amanecer, Suite 300 San Clemente, CA 92673
Phone: 949.940.6500 Fax: 949.940.1094


Ear Infections: Facts for Parents About Otitis Media, National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders:"What's happening inside the ear when my child has an ear infection? When the ears are infected the eustachian tubes become inflamed and swollen. The adenoids can also become infected. The eustachian tubes are inside the ear. They keep air pressure stable in the ear. These tubes also help supply the ears with fresh air. The adenoids are located near the eustachian tubes. Adenoids are clumps of cells that fight infections. Swollen and inflamed eustachian tubes often get clogged with fluid and mucus from a cold. If the fluids plug the openings of the eustachian tubes, air and fluid get trapped inside the ear. These tubes are smaller and straighter in children than they are in adults. This makes it harder for fluid to drain out of the ear and is one reason that children get more ear infections than adults. The infections are usually painful."
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
National Institutes of Health
31 Center Drive, MSC 2320 Bethesda, MD USA 20892-2320


Risk Factors, Middle Ear Infection—Otitis Media,"The biggest risk factor for otitis media is having a cold or flu or other upper respiratory tract infection. The condition occurs most often in children one to two years old. Boys are at greater risk than girls. Infants that are bottle-fed are more at risk than breastfed babies. Also at higher risk are people who have allergies or who live in a cold climate or at high altitudes. Common symptoms of otitis media are severe ear pain, fever, a feeling of blockage or pressure, ear drainage, and muffled hearing. Infants and toddlers may tug at their ears. There may also be nausea, vomiting, and dizziness. On the other hand, there may be no symptoms at all."
Thomson Healthcare
5 Paragon Drive Montvale, NJ 07645


Otitis Media, Is It Serious?"Yes, it is serious because of the severe earache and hearing loss it can create. Hearing loss, especially in children, may impair learning capacity and even delay speech development. However, if it is treated promptly and effectively, hearing can almost always be restored to normal. Otitis media is also serious because the infection can spread to nearby structures in the head, especially the mastoid. Thus, it is very important to recognize the symptoms (see list) of otitis media and to get immediate attention from your doctor."
Peter J. Casano, M.D.
(601) 932-5244 Jackson, MS




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Last updated by Andrew Lopez, RN on Friday, January 24, 2014

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