Ear Infections

Otitis media is one of the most common diseases of early childhood. The incidence is highest between 6 and 18 months. There are four defined types of otitis media (1): (z) acute otitis media (AOM) is characterized by a rapid onset of signs and symptoms of middle-ear inflammation. Earache, bulging of the tympanic membrane, and purulent exudate characterize the early phase of infection. Even though clinical signs and symptoms resolve rapidly, the effusion can persist; (ii) otitis media with effusion (OME) refers to the presence of asymptomatic effusion. It may follow acute otitis media with effusion (AOME) or appear as silent or secretory otitis media; (iii) chronic otitis media with effusion (COME) denotes a persistence of fluid for three months or longer. The fluid is more mucoid, so-called glue ear; and (iv) chronic suppurative otitis media (CSOM) signifies chronic drainage through a perforation of the tympanic membrane.

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