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Acute and Chronic Otitis Media

Otitis media is one of the most common illnesses for which preschool-age children visit their pediatrician, accounting for more than US $3 billion in expenditures annually.1,2 Up to 80% of children under the age of six will experience at least one ear infection. 3 Children with acute otitis media typically present with otalgia or pulling of the ears, irritability, and fever, and it is often associated with a viral upper respiratory infection.

4 Chronic otitis media with effusion, on the other hand, is defined as fluid in the middle ear for at least three months and typically presents without signs of acute inflammation.

Within the first year of life, at least 50% of children will experience otitis media with effusion, and while most resolve spontaneously, 30%–40% will persist, with 5%–10% of the episodes lasting at least one year.

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Acute and Chronic Otitis Media