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Problems & Disorders: Ears

Symptoms of ear infections

The most common symptoms of an acute infection are ear pain and fever. If your child is too young to tell you what hurts, he or she may cry or pull on his or her ear. Your child may also be irritable or listless, have trouble hearing, or not feel like eating or sleeping.

Types of Ear Infections

  • Acute otitis media - the medical term for the common ear infection. Otitis refers to an ear inflammation, and media means middle. Acute otitis media is an infection of the middle ear, which is located behind the eardrum. This diagnosis includes fluid effusion trapped in the middle ear.
  • Chronic otitis media – when infection of the middle ear persists, leading to possible ongoing damage to the middle ear and eardrum

Other Ear Disorders

Cerumen impaction - Wax buildup in the ears

Effusion – a collection of fluid generally containing a bacterial culture.

Otitis media without effusion - an inflammation of the eardrum without fluid in the middle ear.

Otitis media with effusion - the presence of fluid in the middle ear without signs or symptoms of ear infection. It is sometimes called serous otitis media. This condition does not usually require antibiotic treatment.

Otitis media with perforation - a spontaneous rupture or tear in the eardrum as a result of infection. The hole in the ear drum usually repairs itself within several weeks.

The Surgery Center of Charleston The South Carolina Sinus Institute