Otitis media is a medical term used to describe inflammation or infection of the middle ear. The middle ear is the area located just behind the eardrum and it contains tiny bones that transmit sound from the eardrum to the inner ear.
Otitis media can occur at any age, but it is more common in children. The infection is usually caused by a viral or bacterial infection and may result in symptoms such as ear pain, fever, hearing loss, and difficulty sleeping.
There are three types of otitis media: acute otitis media, chronic otitis media, and otitis media with effusion. Acute otitis media is a sudden and severe infection that usually resolves within a few days. Chronic otitis media is a long-term infection that may cause permanent damage to the middle ear. Otitis media with effusion is the buildup of fluid in the middle ear without infection.