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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Acute Otitis Media: Treatment & Monitoring
      Category : Health Centers > Ears and Hearing Disorders

Acute Otitis Media

Alternate Names : Middle Ear Infection

Acute Otitis Media | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What are the treatments for the condition?

Up to 60% of cases of acute otitis heal without antibiotics. Antibiotics are generally used to reduce the symptoms, make the child more comfortable, and prevent serious complications. Common antibiotics for ear infections include:

  • amoxicillin
  • amoxicillin combined with clavulanate
  • azithromycin
  • ceftriaxone
  • cefuroxime
  • clarithromycin
  • erythromycin and sulfisoxazole
  • trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole
  • If the child does not respond to the antibiotic, the dose may be increased or the antibiotic may be changed. If a child has repeated infections, surgery to insert ear tubes may be performed.

    What are the side effects of the treatments?

    Antibiotics may cause stomach upset, diarrhea, and allergic reactions. Surgery can cause bleeding, infection, and allergic reaction to anesthesia.

    What happens after treatment for the condition?

    If the infection has been properly treated, the fluid behind the eardrum usually goes away with time. As long as fluid is present, there will be some hearing loss. Once the fluid goes away, hearing will return to normal. If the fluid lasts for more than 3 months, it will probably not go away. The healthcare provider may recommend ear tube insertion at that time.

    How is the condition monitored?

    The condition is mostly monitored by the child's symptoms. Some healthcare providers recommend a return visit after the antibiotics are gone. Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the healthcare provider.

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    Acute Otitis Media: Prevention & Expectations


    Author: Mark Loury, MD
    Reviewer: Gail Hendrickson, RN, BS
    Date Reviewed: 07/12/01

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