By Dr. Geeta Kathuria, Ear-Nose-Throat (ENT)
Otitis Media is a form of ear infection that occurs due to inflammation of the middle ear. The Eustachian tube that runs through the middle ear to the back of your throat gets blocked or becomes swollen, trapping fluids inside the ear. The trapped liquid then gets infected. Younger children suffer from Otitis Media more as their Eustachian tubes are shorter. Causes for the blocking of the tube can be because of allergy, sinus infection, flu, inhalation of cigarette smoke, etc.
1. Infants and children and usually fussier when their ear is infected and often cry intensely, clutch the ears, wince in pain, or complain about pain in their ear.
2. Other symptoms are sleeplessness, headaches, neck pain, heaviness of the ear, fluid seeping from the ears, vomiting, high fever, and loss of hearing.
Causes and Risk Factors-
Children between the age of six months and thirty six months are more likely to suffer from otitis media. Moreover, using of a pacifier, bottle feeding, exposure to air pollution, climate change and attending day care increases the chances of getting an infection. Even genetics plays an important part in determining how prone a child is to suffer from this infection.
A doctor is able to diagnose this condition if he detects reddening, blood or pus, air bubbles inside the ear, perforation of the eardrum and fluid accumulation in the middle ear.
Treatment - The doctor might prescribe ear drops when there is ear discharge, and antibiotics if the symptoms do not disappear after a couple of days. Surgery is recommended by the doctor only if the child suffers from recurrent ear infections or doesn’t improve after treatment.