Symptoms of Middle Ear Infection
Alayne Ronnenberg, ScD
Ear infections frequently develop during or shortly after another infection, such as a
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- 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
- Decreased appetite or difficulty feeding
- Disturbed sleep
- Difficulty with balance, frequent falling, sensations of dizziness
Nausea, vomiting, or
- Malaise (feeling of general illness)
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:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website. Available at:
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders website. Available at:
Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics
. 16th edition. WB Saunders; 2000.
Last reviewed September 2012 by Kari Kassir, MD
Last Updated: 09/11/2012
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