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Otitis is a general term for inflammation or infection of the ear, in both humans and other animals. When infection is present, it may be viral or bacterial. When inflammation is present due to fluid build up in the middle ear and infection is not present it is considered Otitis media with effusion. It is subdivided into the following:
- Otitis externa, external otitis, or "swimmer's ear", involves the outer ear and ear canal. In external otitis, the ear hurts when touched or pulled.
- Otitis media, or middle ear infection, involves the middle ear. In otitis media, the ear is infected or clogged with fluid behind the ear drum, in the normally air-filled middle-ear space. This the most common infection and very common in babies below 6 months sometimes requires a surgical procedure called myringotomy and tube insertion.
- Otitis interna, or labyrinthitis, involves the inner ear. The inner ear includes sensory organs for balance and hearing. When the inner ear is inflamed, vertigo is a common symptom. Other symptoms in adults include pain and drainage from ear or problems with hearing. Symptoms in children can include excessive crying, touching at ears, drainage, and fever.
Treatment can range from increasing fluids and over the counter medicine to manage symptoms to antibiotics prescribed by medical providers.
- "Ear Infection (middle ear)". Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved November 25, 2021.
- "Otitis media with effusion". MedlinePlus. National Library of Medicine. Retrieved November 25, 2021.
- "What causes an ear infection?". Medy Blog. 2021-09-25. Retrieved 2021-10-10.
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- "Otitis". Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved November 25, 2021.
- "CDC Ear Infection Treatment". CDC. Retrieved November 25, 2021.