Ear infections are a common problem in children and are also known as otitis media. Almost 50 per cent of infants suffer from at least one ear infection by their first birthday. The infection in the ear can cause pain, fever and temporary hearing loss. Besides, there are also some general signs like loss of appetite and irritability. In some cases, the infection gets treated without any specific antibiotic treatment. However, most young infants can only be treated with the use of an antimicrobial agent.
The signs and symptoms of ear infection in adolescents and older children may include ear aching or pain and temporary hearing loss. These symptoms occur suddenly. In infants and young children the symptoms of an ear infection include the following:
There are two main types:
The first type is called acute otitis media (AOM). This means that parts of the ear are infected and swollen. It also means that fluid and mucus are trapped inside the ear. AOM can be painful.
The second type is called otitis media with effusion (fluid), or OME. This means fluid and mucus stay trapped in the ear after the infection is over. OME makes it harder for the ear to fight new infections. This fluid can also affect your child's hearing.
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