Ear Infections and Language Development Part 1: What is Otitis Media?
Otitis media, an inflammation of the middle ear (behind the eardrum), is one of the most common illnesses of childhood. There are two different types of otitis media. Either can occur in one or both ears. • Acute otitis media, which is also called an ear infection, is an infection of the middle ear. Fluid in the middle ear may remain even after an infection is gone. • Otitis media with effusion, also called middle ear fluid, is fluid that is not infected. When a child has a cold, a small tube between the ear and the throat can become blocked, causing fluid to build up in the middle ear. Most children will have at least one episode of otitis media by one year of age. And 10 20 percent of children will have otitis media three or more times, with fluid lasting an average of one month each time. Persistent ear fluid is more common in children under two years, but it can be seen in children older than two. The middle ear space behind the eardrum usually contains air. When there is fluid in