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Ear Infection — Overview, Symptoms, Treatments, and Other Resources.
Ear Infection (also known as Otitis Media)
Comprehensive Guides
Information on Otitis Media at the National Institutes of Health
Otitis media is an ear infection. Three out of four children experience otitis media by the time they are 3 years old. In fact, ear infections are the most common illnesses in babies and young children. Otitis media usually happens when viruses and/or bacteria get inside the ear and cause an infection. It often happens as a result of another illness, such as a cold. Medicines called antibiotics are sometimes given for ear infections. Read more at the National Institutes of Health.

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Information on Ear Infection - Middle Ear - at Mayo Clinic
Information on ear infections from MayoClinic.com.

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Information on Ear Infections from Duke Children's Hospital and Health center
These infections are most frequently associated with pain, fever, and sleep disturbances but can also lead to behavior problems and speech issues if associated with hearing loss due to persistent fluid in the ear. Dr. Martha Snyder, a primary care pediatrician at Duke University, tells us what they are and how they happen.

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Information on Ear Infections from the American Academy of Family Physicians
Otitis media with effusion means that there is fluid in the middle (inner) ear and that the inner ear is inflamed (swollen). (Effusion is another word for fluid.) This fluid usually doesn't bother children. It almost always goes away on its own. So, this kind of ear problem doesn't usually need to be treated with antibiotics, unless the fluid doesn't go away. The symptoms of otitis media with effusion include the following: Fluid that drains from the ears, pain inside the ear (if your child is too young to speak and tell you his or her ear hurts, he or she may tug at the ear often), trouble sleeping, irritability, fever, headache. Read more at the American Academy of Family Physicians.

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Acute Ear Infections - Causes, Symptoms, Exams and Tests, Treatments, Prognosis at the National Library of Medicine
Ear infections are one of the most common reasons parents take their children to the doctor. While there are different types of ear infections, the most common is called otitis media, which means an inflammation and infection of the middle ear. The middle ear is located just behind the eardrum. The term "acute" refers to a short and painful episode. An ear infection that lasts a long time or comes and goes is called chronic otitis media. Read more at the National Library of Medicine.

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Fact Sheets, Tutorials, Interactive Tools, and other Interesting Information
Ruptured eardrum
Information on ruptured eardrum at MayoClinic.com.

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Short course antibiotics for acute otitis media
A short five-day course of antibiotics is as effective as 10 days of treatment for healthy children with uncomplicated middle ear infection (otitis media). Read more at the Cochrane Collaboration.

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News: Infant Head-Flattening Linked to Ear Infections
Recommended back-sleeping could have downside, study suggests. View the article at the National Library of Medicine.

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News: Transplant Patients Should Be Monitored for Ear Infection
Transplantation failure can result from symptomless otitis media, research finds. View the article at the National Library of Medicine.

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Videos and Podcasts
Video Video: Caring for Your Child's Ear Infection
Watch the video at Devos Children's Hospital.

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Podcast Podcast: Ear Infection: Prevention and Treatment in Children's Earaches
Dr. Christopher Discolo, a pediatric ear, nose and throat specialist at the Medical University of South Carolina, talks about the usual signs of an earache in a child and offers advice for treatment. Listen to the podcast at the Podcast Directory.

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Podcast Podcast: New Stubborn Ear Infection Resistant to Drugs
Doctors in Rochester, New York have discovered a new strain of bacteria that's causing ear infections in children. They report in the Journal of American Medical Association that this superbug is resistant to every antibiotic approved to treat common infections. Listen to the podcast at the National Public Radio.

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Clinical Practice Guidelines
Diagnosis and treatment of otitis media in children.
Signs and symptoms of acute otitis media (AOM) are often nonspecific and overlap with those of upper respiratory infections. Clinical diagnosis is especially less reliable in the child under 2 years of age. This contributes to difficulty in accurately diagnosing AOM and in evaluating results of clinical trials. AOM is a disease with a high spontaneous resolution rate (78 to 80% resolve within 7 to 14 days), and routine antibiotic therapy of all children with suspected AOM results in the treatment of many children in whom there may be either modest benefit and/or modest adverse outcomes from antibiotic therapy. View the major recommendations from the National Guideline Clearinghouse.

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Important Articles from Medical Journals
Free Full Text: A double-blind randomised placebo-controlled trial of topical intranasal corticosteroids in 4- to 11-year-old children with persistent bilateral otitis media with effusion in primary care.
Otitis media with effusion (OME), which is often called glue ear, is an increasingly common presentation in primary care and the commonest reason for childhood surgery. A recent National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) review found that there are no proven effective medical treatments. Topical steroids delivered as a nasal spray may be beneficial, are under-researched and may be effective in a primary care setting where the majority of such children are seen. View the free full text at Pubmed.

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Free Full Text: Trends in broad-spectrum antibiotic prescribing for children with acute otitis media in the United States, 1998–2004
Background: Overuse of broad-spectrum antibiotics is associated with antibiotic resistance. Acute otitis media (AOM) is responsible for a large proportion of antibiotics prescribed for US children. Conclusion: Prescribing of broad-spectrum antibiotics for acute otitis media has steadily increased from 1998 to 2004. Associations with non-clinical factors suggest potential for improvement in prescribing practice. View the free full text at Pubmed.

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Free Full Text: Water Penetration into Middle Ear Through Ventilation Tubes in Children While Swimming
Background: Ventilation tube insertion is a common treatment for children with persistent otitis media with effusion. Parents are concerned about the morbidity of this procedure and the influence of ventilation tubes on daily activities. Permissibility of swimming is a question that is most often asked. The aim of this study was to investigate the possibility of water penetration through ventilation tubes into the middle ear while swimming in children with ventilation tubes under immediate observation. View the free full text at Pubmed.

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Free Full Text: Relationship between pediatric obesity and otitis media with effusion.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the relationship between pediatric otitis media with effusion and obesity, as determined by body mass index (BMI) (calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared) and serum triglyceride (TG) and total cholesterol (TC) concentrations. CONCLUSION: Childhood obesity may be associated with the occurrence of otitis media with effusion. View the free full text at Pubmed.

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Free Full Text: The role of new vaccines in the prevention of otitis media.
Otitis media is one of the most common infectious diseases of infancy; a reduction in its incidence would have a significant economic and social impact. Vaccines may play a role in the prevention of otitis media. This report discusses vaccines against pneumococci and influenza viruses. We reviewed the literature for results of studies examining the role of these vaccines in the prevention of otitis media. View the free full text at Pubmed.

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Free Full Text: Pneumococcal conjugate vaccination in Canadian infants and children younger than five years of age: Recommendations and expected benefits.
INTRODUCTION: Streptococcus pneumoniae infection may result in invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD), such as bacteremia, meningitis and bacteremic pneumonia, or in non-IPD, such as pneumonia, sinusitis and otitis media. In June 2001, a heptavalent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) (Prevnar, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Canada) was approved for use in children in Canada. The objective of the present paper is to review S pneumoniae-induced disease incidence and vaccine recommendations in Canadian infants and children younger than five years of age. View the free full text at Pubmed.

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Looking for a Top-Rated Otolaryngologist, Pediatrician, or Primary Care Physician?
Consumers' Guide to Top Doctors finds the Doctors Rated Best by other Doctors
To find out who the top doctors are around the country, nonprofit Consumers' CHECKBOOK surveyed roughly 340,000 physicians to tell us which specialists they would want to care for a loved one. The Top Doctors database contains the names of over 23,000 doctors who were mentioned most often. Find top-rated doctors in the fifty largest metropolitan areas, in over thirty-five specialties, and more.
Anatomy of the Ear
Source: Wikimedia

Get Smart on Antibiotics
Source: CDC

Consumers' Guide to Top Doctors finds the Doctors Rated Best by other Doctors in over 30 specialties.

Search Top Doctors database of 23,000 top-rated physicians by Doctor's Name

Search Top Doctors database of 23,000 top-rated physicians by Specialty (over 35 different fields included)

JAMA: Does your child have an ear infection?
Source: pdfcast

Consumers' Guide to Hospitals
Which Hospital Should You Choose
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"What makes the Consumers' Guide to Hospitals so special? We've got 30 million answers to that question. That's how many hospital records Consumers' CHECKBOOK sifted through to calculate risk-adjusted death rates and adverse-outcome rates, and that's just part of the data used to rate the hospitals. The organization also sent out more than 280,000 questionnaires to physicians in 53 major metropolitan areas in the United States, asking them to rate their local hospitals; checked ratings of the hospitals by surveyed consumers; checked which hospitals were providing recommended tests and procedures for patients with specified medical problems; and more."
AARP The Magazine
Surgery to place ear tubes in a child
Source:Wikimedia

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