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1 What Is Middle Ear Infection ? on Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:24 am

What Is Middle Ear Infection ?

Middle ear infection is an infection that occurs behind the eardrum, in the middle part of the ear. While it can happen in people of all ages, it mainly affects children. The medical term for middle ear infection is otitis media.

Middle ear infection is the most common childhood illness treated by pediatricians. It usually develops a few days after a child has a cold or the flu. Half of all children will have at least one middle ear infection while they're growing up, most often before age 3.

Children generally suffer from one of three forms of middle ear infection:

•Acute otitis media - a sudden but temporary inflammation in the middle ear.

•Recurrent acute otitis media- ear infections that keep coming back, with the ear returning to normal between episodes.

•Chronic otitis media with effusion (OME) - a persistent accumulation of sticky thick fluid in the middle ear, also called effusion, that is not painful; children most often say their ears feel stuffy. OME is also called glue ear.

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