Middle ear infections or otitis media, are most common in young children but can occur in anyone at any age. Middle ear infections are commonly viral or bacterial and they usually cause pain and inflammation. Untreated otitis media can cause discomfort, headache, hearing loss and even meningitis. Treatment generally involves medication and cleaning of the ear. It may require surgical drainage and repair. Recurrent ear infections may be a symptom of a more serious illness. Come see us at Camino ENT if you, your child or someone else you care for is affected by troublesome ear infections.
What is Otitis Media?
Otitis Media is a middle ear infection behind the eardrum.
There are several degrees of otitis media:
Acute Otitis Media
is a viral or bacterial infection of the middle ear, causing earache, pus and a fever. Bacterial acute otitis media can also lead to mastoiditis and, in very serious cases, can spread to cause meningitis.
Otitis Media with Fluid in the Ears
is an infection that includes a build-up of fluid in the middle ear space. This fluid can also interfere with the Eustachian tube and cause conductive hearing loss if the fluid becomes too thick. The thick fluid is sometimes called “glue ear”.
Chronic Suppurative Otitis Media
(an ear infection with drainage from the ear canal) usually happens when there is a tear or hole in the ear drum accompanied by a bacterial infection that lasts for several weeks. This condition, which usually includes hearing loss, is more common with people who have poor Eustachian tube function.
How is otitis media treated?
The pain caused by otitis media can be managed using over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen. Bacterial otitis media can be treated with antibiotics. Your provider will select the most appropriate treatment option for your.
Ear tubes are tiny cylinders placed through the eardrum to allow air into the middle ear. They’re used for patients who suffer from chronic ear infections. Ear tubes are most often used for children in San Jose, but they are effective for patients of all ages. Ear tubes can also be called tympanostomy tubes, myringotomy tubes, ventilation tubes or pressure equalization (PE) tubes.
Call Camino Ear, Nose & Throat Clinic at (408) 227-6300 for more information or to schedule an appointment.