Chronic Otitis Media

What is Chronic Otitis Media?

Chronic otitis media (middle ear infection) is an acute bacterial infection, which often blocks your ear drums. It is a bacterial or viral infection in the middle ear space, which also affects the mastoid bone (on the back side of the ear). Mastoid bone contains air holes which drain out the middle year. An infection can commonly occur in cold weather conditions, or if water enters the middle year. Any other ear infection can also cause this infection. It is a painful condition, as it causes swelling and fluid accumulation during the time of infection. In addition, any risk of mastoid bone infection can lead to serious health disorders such as skull infection, or in severe cases, pus in the brain.


The common symptoms of this disease include:

  • Ear pressure.
  • Heaviness.
  • Pain.
  • Swelling.
  • Discharge from the ear.
  • Mild fever.
  • Hearing discomfort.
  • Sleeping trouble.


The main causes of this disease are:

  • Allergy.
  • Cold and flu.
  • Sinus.
  • Smoking and drinking.



The main risk factors of this disease include:

  • Acute ear infections.
  • Cysts.
  • Eardrum scarring.
  • Partial hearing loss or speech problems.



In order to prevent the occurrence of the disease, the preventive measures that are taken include:

  • Regularly washing hands.
  • Avoid smoking.
  • Taking proper medicines including antibiotics, pneumonia, and flu vaccines.

How is it diagnosed?

After an initial physical examination of the patient’s ear, nose, and throat condition, the doctor will perform additional diagnostic tests. At Medanta, following are the tests conducted to diagn...

How is it treated?

At Medanta, the initial treatment for chronic otitis media involves: 


  • Antibiotics

    These are prescribed by the doctor to reduce infection. The doctor is likely to avoid a surgery at this stage, and instead, give the patient a home treatment chart. Use of warm cloth over the infected portion of the ear, ear drops to reduce pain, and pain relievers, are some of the tried and tested methods.

  • Surgical intervention

    If the medications do not respond well, then a surgical intervention is necessarily required. There are different surgical options available, depending upon the condition of the patient.

  • Surgery for removal of tonsils

     One type of surgery involves the removal of tonsils. These are bacterial infections (adenoids or tonsils) in the patient’s nasal cavity (where the nose bends into the throat). This type of tonsils can lead to frequent ear infections.

  • Surgery though tiny tubes

    Another surgery is done to place tiny tubes into the patient’s ear. This tube will help in normal functioning of the middle ear (including the mastoid bone). In other words, the tube will drain out the air and fluid from the middle ear portion.

When do I contact the doctor?

Whenever you experience difficulty in hearing, or feel heaviness in your ear, you should immediately consult a doctor for clinical assessment. All your symptoms will be treated perfectly by our medical experts at Medanta.

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