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Ear Infections

An ear infection occurs when a virus or bacteria enters the ear canal. They can cause pain and fever in children as well as adults. There are many types of ear infections, including:

Swimmer’s Ear

Swimmer’s ear is an ear infection in the outer ear and ear canal. This can cause itching, redness, pain and swelling and pus may drain from the ear. Antibiotics are usually needed to treat Swimmer’s ear.

Middle Ear Infection

An infection of the middle ear is called acute otitis media (AOM). AOM symptoms include pain, pus in the ear, redness of the eardrum and fever. Infants or toddlers may be irritable, and children may tug on the affected ear. Antibiotics are often used to treat AOM, but are not always necessary.

Another type of middle ear infection called acute otitis media with effusion (AOME) happens when part of the ear gets blocked by fluid. Fluid can build up in the middle ear for several reasons, including a cold. With a cold, the middle ear can get filled with fluid just as the nose does – it just doesn’t run out as easily from the middle ear as it does from the nose. Sometimes, the fluid can become infected, which leads to AOM. After AOM has been treated with antibiotics or has resolved itself, fluid could remain in the middle ear for a month or longer before it goes away.