Otitis media is a group of inflammatory diseases of the middle ear. The two main types are acute otitis media (AOM) and otitis media with effusion (OME). AOM is an infection of rapid onset that usually presents with ear pain. OME is typically not associated with symptoms. Occasionally a feeling of fullness is described. It is defined as the presence of non-infectious fluid in the middle ear for more than three months.Chronic suppurative otitis media (CSOM) is middle ear inflammation that results in discharge from the ear for more than three months.
The primary symptom of acute otitis media is ear pain; other possible symptoms include fever, reduced hearing during periods of illness, tenderness on touch of the skin above the ear, purulent discharge from the ears, irritability, and diarrhea (in infants). Since an episode of otitis media is usually precipitated by an upper respiratory tract infection (URTI), there are often accompanying symptoms like a cough and nasal discharge.One might also experience a feeling of fullness in the ear.
The common cause of all forms of otitis media is dysfunction of the Eustachian tube.This is usually due to inflammation of the mucous membranes in the nasopharynx, which can be caused by a viral upper respiratory tract infection (URTI), strep throat, or possibly by allergies.By reflux or aspiration of unwanted secretions from the nasopharynx into the normally sterile middle-ear space, the fluid may then become infected — usually with bacteria. The virus that caused the initial upper respiratory infection can itself be identified as the pathogen causing the infection