Otitis media is an infection of the middle ear that occurs due to viruses and bacteria mostly. It is more common in children as compared to adults. Moreover, it may resolve on its own, but if you have fever and pain in the ear, then you must visit the best ENT specialist in Lahore. The healthcare provider may prescribe antibiotics to treat it.
Ear infections are not contagious. But they may occur mostly in cold weather.
Types of otitis media
There are two different types of otitis media infection, classified as;
- Acute otitis media
- Otitis media with effusion
Acute otitis media
In acute otitis media, the infection attacks your ear and may cause fever and ear swelling. If left untreated, it can result in deafness and impaired hearing abilities. Therefore, it is essential to visit a healthcare provider soon.
Otitis media with effusion
It is a condition in which infection attacks your ear and leaves. But fluid and mucus continue to build up, serving as a medium for infection. Due to which you may have a feeling of fullness in the ear.
The causes of otitis media are:
- Born with cleft palate
- Living in a close environment
- Siblings who have otitis media
- Living in cold
- Not being breastfed
- Suffering from respiratory tract infections
- Getting exposed to second-hand smoke
- Being bottle-fed while lying straight
Due to barometric trauma, otitis media can also occur. It usually happens when you are traveling on an airplane or doing scuba diving. When your eustachian tubes are blocked, they can not bear the sudden pressure exerted on them, hence causing ear damage, which eventually leads to otitis media.
Signs and Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of otitis media are as follows.
- Yellowish discharge that comes from the ear
- Inability to balance yourself
- Hearing difficulty
- Ear pain
- Itching in ear
- Decreased appetite
- Tugging at ear
If your child is agitated and tugging their ears, it may be possible that they have ear pain due to otitis media. In these cases, you must take them to a healthcare provider. If they are suffering from otitis media, they will remain cranky, and the pain worsens upon lying down.
For the diagnosis of otitis media, the doctor will examine your ear. They will do that with an instrument that lightens up the inside of your ear, known as an otoscope. Furthermore, they will observe pus, redness, and swelling of the air drum.
Also, to check the pressure of your ear, they may perform tympanometry. It is a procedure in which the healthcare providers insert an instrument that vibrates the eardrum. Hence they can measure the pressure inside of the ear.
Mostly, your healthcare provider may prescribe antibiotics to treat otitis media. Make sure you administer the medication on time and do not delay it. Otherwise, if you do that, antibiotic resistance can occur. However, at times there may be no need for antibiotics. The infection may resolve on its own. But it is always important to get an expert to advise.
Moreover, antihistamines can help in reducing itchiness and irritation in-ear, that bother children a lot. Your doctor may also prescribe painkiller drops that help reduce pain and inflammation.
If the fluid builds up inside the eardrum does not stop with antibiotic therapy, you may need to get it surgically drained- a procedure called a myringotomy. It also helps in equalizing the pressure of the ear.
It is not solely possible to prevent otitis media. But promoting handwashing techniques may help. Also, do not make your children lie down straight while drinking bottle. Keeping head slightly tilted may also help in its prevention. Moreover, avoid exposure to second-hand smoke.
Breastfeeding your child helps build their immunity. Due to which they, there is a chance of remaining protected from it.
Otitis media is an infection and inflammation of the middle ear. It mostly occurs due to viruses and bacteria. Mostly it is treatable with antibiotics. Your child may remain irritated and cranky if they are suffering from it. You must visit a top ENT specialist in Islamabad to keep your child and yourself protected from it.