Middle ear inflammation

Middle Ear Inflammation

Middle ear inflammation, also known as otitis media, is an infection of the middle ear. This is a common childhood condition, though it can affect adults, too. Symptoms may range from mild discomfort to severe pain. Treatment can help reduce inflammation and cure the infection.

What Causes Middle Ear Inflammation?

Middle ear inflammation is typically caused by a viral or bacterial infection, or by fluid accumulating in the middle ear. In some cases, it may also be caused by allergies, air pressure changes, or a foreign body in the ear, such as an object or insect.

Symptoms of Middle Ear Inflammation

The most common symptom of middle ear inflammation is earache or ear pain. Other symptoms may include a fever, sense of fullness in the ear, temporary hearing loss, and drainage of fluid from the ear. In some cases, an ear infection can lead to dizziness or vertigo.

Diagnosis and Treatment

If you or your child has symptoms of an ear infection, see a healthcare provider. The provider will likely look into the ear for signs of inflammation or fluid buildup. If an infection is confirmed, the provider may prescribe antibiotics or other medications to reduce inflammation. In some cases, fluids may need to be drained from the ear.

Prevention and Outlook

To help prevent middle ear inflammation, make sure to practice good hygiene. For example, wash your hands frequently, and avoid putting objects in your ears. If you or your child is prone to ear infections, talk to a doctor about prevention methods. If treated promptly, most cases of middle ear inflammation can be cured without long-term complications.