An ear infection sometimes called acute otitis media is an infection of the middle ear, the air-filled space behind the eardrum that contains the tiny vibrating bones of the ear. Children are more likely than adults to get ear infections. Because ear infections often clear up on their own, treatment may begin with managing pain and monitoring the problem. Sometimes, antibiotics are used to clear the infection. Some people are prone to having multiple ear infections. This can cause hearing problems and other serious complications.
The Anatomy of the Eustachian Tube
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The auditory tube allows fluid to drain from the ear into the back of the throat. If the auditory tube becomes clogged, fluid will become trapped in the middle ear space. This fluid is called an effusion by your healthcare providers. In addition to ear infections, the common cold and allergies can often lead to fluid in the ear if inflammation or mucous prevent the auditory tube from draining. Learn what else could cause accumulation, how to prevent it from happening, and how to diagnose and treat the condition. Anyone can get fluid in their ears, but it is much more likely to occur in children due to the anatomy of their auditory tube, which is smaller in diameter and more horizontal than the auditory tube of an adult. There are about 2.
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It is quite common that children are found with fluid behind eardrum, adults though seldom diagnosed with the same symptom, it sometimes does occur. Fluid behind eardrum, known medically as otitis media with effusion OME , is the accumulation of fluid, often in the middle of the ear, with no sign or other symptoms of an ear infection. This can occur in one or both ears, and can sometimes last for prolonged periods of time, although this is more often the case in adults than in children. This condition can be associated with a feeling of discomfort within the ear, or a feeling of fullness.
Last Updated: June 2, References Approved. This article was co-authored by Laura Marusinec, MD. She received her M. There are 46 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.