Archive for the ‘ACUTE OTITIS MEDIA (AOM)’ Category
Almost everyone has had this problem once in his or her childhood. First, you got a cold, then an earache and fever, and the pediatrician told you that you had an “ear infection.” Whatever virus or bacterial infection was causing your cold-like symptoms had inflamed the lining of the middle ear cavity and Eustachian tube. Your Eustachian tube swelled and closed, fluid from the inflammation (pus) formed in the ear, pushed on the eardrum, and you got one heck of an earache. You actually had developed an abscess in the ear.
Adults with AOM will experience fever, general malaise, reduced hearing in the infected ear, and perhaps dizziness or even ringing in that ear.
Children with AOM will complain of earache and will have fever, but they rarely become dizzy or complain of ringing in the infected ear.
Infants with AOM will have a high fever, be irritable, and pull at or otherwise fidget with their ears.
Treating Acute Otitis Media (AOM)
The single most important goal of the treatment of AOM is the elimination of infection from the middle ear cavity Antibiotic medications play the most important role in accomplishing this goal. Amoxicillin (Amoxil, Polymox, Trimox, Wymox) is very often the first antibiotic used, and is commonly taken for 10 to 14 days. However, it should never be used when one is allergic to penicillin. Other antibiotics used to treat AOM include amoxicillin with clavulanate (Augmentin), erythromycin with sulfisoxazole (Pediazole), any erythromycin product (EES, Eryc, Pediamycin, etc.), trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim, Septra), and cefaclor (Ceclor).
Caution: Up to 15 percent of people allergic to penicillin who take cefaclor-type antibiotics react to those antibiotics. That is because these antibiotics have a chemical structure similar to that of penicillin. If you are allergic to penicillin and cefaclor-type antibiotics, your doctor will likely treat you with erythromycin, erythromycin with sulfisoxazole, or trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole.
When AOM complicates chronic rhinitis, decongestants in the form of nasal sprays/drops, or pills, capsules, or liquids by mouth are also commonly used.
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