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Combatting Common Childhood Ailment: Battling Otitis Media in Children


Ear infections are a common problem in children. Otitis media is the infection of the middle ear. Most of the time it is caused by bacterial infection that nearly all children have in their nose and throat at one time or another. Often it may develop after a viral infection also. Eustachian tube plays a key role in maintaining normal pressure in the middle ear. When eustachian tube function is impaired because of any upper respiratory tract infection middle ear pressure changes and can cause formation of fluid in middle ear, bacteria and virus follow, resulting in inflammation in middle ear.

In Acute otitis media, there will be active middle ear infection and child present with sudden onset of ear pain, since the pressure in middle ear increases leading to bulging of ear drum. It may even rupture resulting in draining fluid in the ear canal. In infants and young children symptoms are more often nonspecific, as there is simultaneous respiratory tract infection. Can present with fever, pulling on the ear, fussiness and irritability. Serous otitis media refers to collection of non-infected fluid in middle ear. Children typically have no pain, but fluid can impair hearing. Previous ear infection is the common cause, some children may develop it as a result of a blocked eustachian tube most commonly occurs with enlarged adenoid.

In case of recurrent serous otitis media it’s mandatory to see for any adenoiditis in children. We can do a pure tone audiometry and Tympanometry to see for any middle ear pathology and hearing loss. In acute otitis media treatment include antibiotics, nasal decongestant, analgesics and antipyretics. Serous otitis media or Otitis media with effusion usually resolves without treatment. To fasten it nasal decongestant, short course of oral steroids can be advised.Some children having recurrent serous otitis media causing decreased hearing may need surgery – that is Myringotomy - to drain the fluid in the middle ear ear by incising the ear drum and to insert a ventilating tube (Grommet) in ear drum. In such patients we should see for chronic adenoiditis and if present need to do adenoidectomy also to clear the route cause.

Symptoms of otitis media in children include earache or pain, difficulty hearing, fever, fussiness, and fluid draining from the ear. In some cases, a child may experience vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. Treatment for otitis media typically involves antibiotics and pain relievers. If symptoms persist, a doctor may recommend a myringotomy, which involves inserting a tiny tube through the eardrum to drain out the fluid and allow air to enter the middle ear. Examples include avoiding exposure to secondhand smoke, reducing exposure to allergens and irritants, avoiding exposure to large groups of children, and ensuring that the child receives the recommended vaccinations. Parents should also ensure that their children’s ears are cleaned regularly and that they are kept free of moisture. Overall, it is important to seek medical attention if a child is experiencing any of the symptoms of otitis media. Prompt treatment can help reduce the severity and duration of the infection and potentially prevent more serious complications. Ascent hospital has the best doctors for ear infections and excellent service. Choose our service confidentially because we are the best one of the ent hospitals in india.