• Symptoms of Middle Ear Infection

    Ear infections frequently develop during or shortly after another infection, such as a cold or sore throat .
    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.)
    • 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.)
    • Hearing loss, which resolves with appropriate treatment
    • Fever
    • Irritability
    • Decreased appetite or difficulty feeding
    • Disturbed sleep
    • Difficulty with balance, frequent falling, sensations of dizziness
    • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
    • Malaise (feeling of general illness)
    • Chills
    • Inattentiveness
    Some children with ear infection, particularly chronic otitis, have no symptoms. Their condition may be discovered on examination for some other problem.


    American Medical Association website. Available at: http://www.ama-assn.org/ .

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/ .

    National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders website. Available at: http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/ .

    Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics . 16th edition. WB Saunders; 2000.

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