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Blockage of the Eustachian tube during a cold, allergy or respiratory infection and the presence of bacteria or viruses lead to the accumulation of fluid behind the eardrum causes a Middle Ear Infection. This is an infection called Otitis Media. The primary treatment for Otitis Media is antibiotic therapy. Treatment for repeated antibiotic failures includes the placement of ear tubes.

Symptoms of ear infection can be:

  • Earache.
  • Feeling of fullness.
  • Hearing problems.
  • Dizziness, loss of balance.
  • Ear drainage.
  • Fever.

Symptoms of an ear infection in infants and toddlers can be:

  • Hearing problems.
  • Crying and irritability.
  • Fever.
  • Vomiting.
  • Ear drainage.
  • Speech delay, balance and stumbling problems.


In adults and children, antibiotic therapy is the mainstay of treatment. Allergy treatment (antihistamines, steroid pills or nose sprays and other treatments) is sometimes helpful. Watchful waiting for residual fluid which is not infected is often suggested. For resistant ear infections not responding to medical therapy or watchful waiting, then a drainage with pressure equalizing tubes can be suggested. This is a minor procedure to be done in the office for most adults and older children or under a brief anesthetic for young children and infants.

This information is for guidance only and should not constitute medical advice. Adapted from from AAO-HNS –


Our ENT providers are compassionate and skilled in diagnosing and treating a wide range of ear and hearing disorders. Please click on the links below to learn more. For more information about any of these disorders and conditions or for questions about a condition not listed here, please contact us to schedule an appointment.

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