Acute middle ear inflammation

This text provides information in simple language on the topic: acute middle ear inflammation.

What is acute middle ear infection?

In acute middle ear inflammation, affected people have severe ear pain. The middle ear is then inflamed. The middle ear is behind the eardrum in the ear. People with an acute middle ear infection often have a cold at the same time. Young children are particularly likely to have acute middle ear infections.

What happens with an acute middle ear infection?

Sometimes pathogens come from the throat into the ear. This can be bacteria or viruses, for example. Then the middle ear can become inflamed. The middle ear is between the eardrum and the so-called ear trumpet. The ear trumpet is the connection between the middle ear and the nasopharynx. Acute inflammation in the middle ear causes severe ear pain.

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An acute middle ear infection often heals on its own within a few days. Sometimes, however, the affected people also have to take medication.

How can you recognize an acute middle ear infection?

Acute middle ear infection can show a number of signs. The signs can be:

  • sudden and severe ear pain
  • Hearing loss
  • Feeling of pressure in the ear
  • Feeling sick
  • fever

Children also sometimes have abdominal pain and nausea.

What are the causes of acute otitis media?

The cause of an acute middle ear inflammation is often an infection. Pathogens get from the throat into the ear. Pathogens are, for example, viruses or bacteria.

The ear trumpet is the connection between the middle ear and the nasopharynx. There is a mucous membrane in the ear trumpet. The mucous membrane can become thick. This happens, for example, from a cold. Then the middle ear is no longer properly ventilated. Therefore, an otitis media can develop.

What can you do about an acute middle ear infection?

An acute middle ear infection often heals on its own within a few days. Sometimes, however, the affected people also have to take medication. Therefore, go to a doctor. The doctor will ask you about your symptoms. And the doctor asks about your medical history. Then the doctor will examine you thoroughly.

Do you have a cold? Then maybe viruses caused the disease. Then the doctor will not prescribe an antibiotic for you. The body has to fight the acute middle ear inflammation itself: The body's defense system fights the inflammation.
If you have an acute middle ear infection, you should rest and drink a lot.

Warning: Some people with heart disease or kidney disease are only allowed to drink a certain amount. These people should therefore speak to their doctor beforehand.

Painkillers can help if the pain is severe. Does the acute middle ear inflammation occur together with a cold? Then nasal drops or nasal sprays can help: This allows the mucus to flow better out of the ear, nose and throat.

Note: Do you want to take pain medication? Or do you want to use nasal drops or nasal sprays? Then always talk to your doctor beforehand.

Where can you get more information?

Would you like to read more about acute otitis media? More information about acute middle ear inflammation can be found here. Attention: This link leads out of our simple language offer. The information is then no longer in plain language.

Attention: This text only contains general information. The text does not replace a visit to the doctor. Only a doctor can give you accurate information. Are you feeling sick? Or do you have questions about an illness? Then you should always see a doctor.

We wrote the texts together with the Light Language Research Center. The light language research center is at the University of Hildesheim.

Ears infection