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by Ronnenberg A

Symptoms of Middle Ear Infection

Ear infections frequently develop during or shortly after another infection, such as a cold or sore throat. They may also happen because of nasal allergy symptoms.
The Ear
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Symptoms include:
  • Ear pain (Note: Children who can talk may tell you that their ear hurts. Babies may tug or rub at the ear or face or become irritable.)
  • Fever
  • Hearing loss, which resolves with appropriate treatment
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Irritability
  • Decreased appetite or difficulty feeding
  • Drainage from the ear (This may appear as blood, clearish fluid, pus, or as a dry crust on the outer portion of the ear after sleeping.)
  • Difficulty with balance, frequent falling, sensations of lightheadedness
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Chills
Some children with ear infection, particularly chronic otitis, have no symptoms. Their condition may be discovered on examination for some other problem.

References

Acute otitis media (AOM). EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116345/Acute-otitis-media-AOM. Updated May 17, 2016. Accessed September 27, 2017.
Ear infections in children. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) website. Available at: http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/hearing/pages/earinfections.aspx. Updated May 12, 2017. Accessed September 27, 2017.
Middle ear infections. Healthy Children—American Academy of Pediatrics website. Available at: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/ear-nose-throat/Pages/Middle-Ear-Infections.aspx. Updated February 22, 2013. Accessed September 27, 2017.

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board Marcie L. Sidman, MD
  • Review Date: 09/2017
  • Update Date: 09/17/2014