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Patient Information

Otitis Media

Otitis media, also known as a middle ear infection, is the most common pediatric illness treated by otolaryngologists. Babies and young children can often have repeated ear infections.

How it Develops:

A middle ear infection is caused by fluid build-up in the middle part of the ears (behind the eardrum) and can result in problems hearing and communicating.


Antibiotics may be prescribed to eliminate the infection. In the case of recurring middle ear infections or if your child develops problems with hearing or communicating, your child’s pediatrician may refer you to an ear, nose & throat (ENT) specialist for further evaluation.

otitis media

Otitis Externa

Did you know that you do not have to swim to develop otitis externa (swimmer’s ear)? Although it is more common after water exposure, you can develop swimmer’s ear  without being in water.

How it Develops:

Excessive moisture irritates the ear canal skin, which can lead to a bacterial or fungal infection in the ear — swimmer's ear. Swimming as well as living in hot, humid summer environments can contribute to this condition. 


To help prevent water in the ears, consider earplugs when swimming. 


If symptoms of swimmer's ear develop, refrain from cleaning the inside of the ear or using homemade drops. 


Treatment for swimmer’s ear might include the removal of excess wax, dead skin cells or debris to allow the ear to dry out. Topical treatment may also be indicated. Your provider will prescribe antibiotic drops to eliminate bacteria as well as steroids to help reduce swelling. Recurrent swimmer’s ear should be referred to an ear, nose & throat (ENT) specialist for further evaluation.