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A to Z: Otitis Media (Ear Infection)
Otitis Media (Ear Infection)
Also called: Ear Infection; Earache
Otitis media (say: oh-ty-tus me-dee-uh) is an infection of the middle ear.
More to Know
Bacteria and viruses can cause fluid to build up in the middle ear, leading to infection. This creates pain and pressure.
Without treatment, otitis media can cause hearing loss. An ear infection that causes hearing loss may affect speech and language development in a young child.
Keep in Mind
Most ear infections are painful but clear up without any lasting problems. A doctor can determine whether treatment with antibiotics can help. If a child has a history of many ear infections, a doctor might recommend ear tube surgery.
All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.
- Earaches Instruction Sheet
- Can Chronic Ear Infections Cause Long-Term Hearing Loss?
- Middle Ear Infections and Ear Tube Surgery
- Middle Ear Infections
- Hearing Evaluation in Children
- Can I Prevent Ear Infections When My Child Swims?
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Note: All information on KidsHealth® is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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