Ear infections account for approximately 25 million visits to physicians' offices annually. As many parents know, ear infections are often associated with a child who has pain and irritability or persistent hearing loss. Fortunately, antibiotics can provide significant relief. Also, many patients spontaneously improve. However, in a certain percentage of patients, medical therapy is insufficient. Sometimes surgical procedures such as insertion of ventilation tubes in the eardrums and/or adenoidectomy is necessary.
Are all ear infections alike?
The more common types of ear infections are acute infection, acute otitis media, or longer term fluid in the ear, otitis media with effusion. These conditions can exist separately but do in fact, frequently overlap. Other more significant infections can occur more rarely that have to do with more serious underlying ear disorders.