Ear infection (acute otitis media)

Otitis media

Sinus infection Infection of the pharynx Infection of the large airways Middle ear infection Infection of the tonsils Infection of the voice box Infection of the small airways Lung infection

Click on the name of the infection in the image above to find out more about the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of these respiratory tract infections.

What is acute otitis media?

Otitis media is a middle ear infection. It occurs in the small space just behind the eardrum in the middle of the inner ear. It usually causes an earache.

Most middle ear infections are caused by a virus (e.g. the cold virus), with the ear infection often following after a cold or a throat infection (pharyngitis).

It is a very common infection. Every year in Australia about 1 in 10 children (particularly children younger than 4 years old) will have a middle ear infection, compared with about 1 in 100 adults.

Acute otitis media is a short-term infection. If a child or adult repeatedly gets otitis media, or if an infection does not completely heal and the swelling and redness in the ear persist, then it is called chronic otitis media.

Chronic (long-term) middle ear infections are very common in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, and even though the infection can be treated, it is the most common cause of hearing loss in these children.

Find out more about the causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of middle ear infections.

Latest information - ear infection, middle

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(Medicine)
09 Oct 2013 Find out about Ciloquin Ear Drops. Plus information and tips on how to use medicines wisely and safely.
(Medicine)
27 May 2013 The pneumococcal vaccines prevent bacterial infections that can cause pneumonia, meningitis & more. Read about who should be vaccinated & the vaccine's benefits & side effects.
(Medicine)
30 Nov 2012 Cefaclor kills the bacteria that cause middle ear infections (otitis media), sinusitis and pneumonia. Find out how cefaclor works.
(Medicine)
30 Nov 2012 Cefuroxime kills the bacteria that cause middle ear infections (otitis media), sinusitis, and pneumonia. Find out how cefuroxime works.
(Medicine)
30 Nov 2012 Cefaclor is an antibiotic used to treat sinusitis, pneumonia, and middle ear infections (otitis media). Find out more.
(Medicine)
30 Nov 2012 Cefuroxime is an antibiotic used to treat bacterial sinusitis, pneumonia, and middle ear infections (otitis media). Find out more.
(Medicine)
29 Nov 2012 Amoxycillin with clavulanic acid can be taken during pregnancy and if you are breastfeeding unless you are allergic to amoxycillin or penicillin. Find out what to tell your doctor before you take amoxicillin with clavulanic acid.
(Medicine)
29 Nov 2012 Amoxycillin with clavulanic acid is an antibiotic used to treat bacterial sinusitis, pneumonia, and middle ear infections (otitis media). Find out more.
(Medicine)
27 Nov 2012 Amoxycillin is an antibiotic used to treat chronic bronchitis, bacterial sinusitis, pneumonia, and middle ear infections (otitis media). Find out more.
(Condition)
22 Jun 2012 Diagnosis of otitis media will be based on your symptoms, such as ear ache, & any recent illnesses, such as a cold or sore throat. Read more about otitis media diagnosis here.