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Otitis Media

JLO Glossary Term: Otitis Media

Inflammation of the middle ear, may result from eustachian tube dysfunction. There are two types of otitits media: acute otitis media and otitis media with effusion. Acute otitis media is more common condition. Person with this condition usually has ear pain, which can be followed by a fever and lack of appetite. The reason why this happens, and especially with young children is due to pulling the ear, a lot of crying and not sleeping enough. On the other hand the otitis media with effusion usually don’t have any symptoms, and it is a result of having fluid in the inner ear for a longer period.

There are different causes for acute otitis media, some of them may be the anatomy and immune function of a child. An infant is sesnitive to anything, so any bacteria or virus could be the cause of it. One of the most common risks are smoking near the child, staying in daycare and using pacifiers. There are different things a mother of a child can do to prevent this from happening. That is to not expose her child to smoking, breastfeeding for at least six months and influenza vaccination.  In those with otitis media with effusion antibiotics do not generally speed recovery. The use of pain medications for AOM is important.[3] This may include: paracetamol (acetaminophen), ibuprofen, benzocaine ear drops, or opioids.[3] In AOM antibiotics may speed recovery but may result in side effects.[8] Antibiotics are often recommended in those with severe disease or under two years old. In those with less severe disease they may only be recommended in those who do not improve after two or three days.[6] The initial antibiotic of choice is typically amoxicillin. In those with frequent infections tympanostomy tubes may decrease recurrence.