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Otitis Media Interventions

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Otitis Media Interventions

Otitis media is an inflammatory response due to the presence of fluid in the middle ear caused by a virus or bacteria. This condition most commonly occurs in children, due to the shorter, straighter, and narrower anatomy of the eustachian tube. Antipyretics, analgesics, and antibiotics are typically used to treat otitis media, though irrigation of the ear, or procedures such as a myringotomy, or the placement of a tympanostomy tube may be necessary.

Acetaminophen, also known as Tylenol, is recommended to treat fever associated with otitis media. Do not exceed the recommended dosage, as this medication can be damaging to the liver.


Analgesics, such as ibuprofen, are recommended to relieve fever and earache in patients with an ear infection.


If antibiotics are necessary, amoxicillin is the drug of choice for treating patients with otitis media. Screen for medication allergies prior to prescribing or administering amoxicillin.


Patients diagnosed with otitis media with effusion may undergo irrigation of the affected ear(s) to remove mucoid or purulent drainage.

Position on Affected Side
Laying on Side

After irrigation of the ear is complete, the patient should be positioned on the affected side to facilitate drainage.


During a myringotomy, an incision is made in the eardrum to relieve pressure or fluid buildup in the middle ear. If several of these procedures are performed, a myringoplasty may be needed to repair the tympanic membrane.

Tympanostomy Tube
Tin-pan Tube

In patients with chronic or recurrent otitis media, these tubes are inserted into the eardrum to prevent buildup of fluid in the middle ear. While a tympanostomy tube is in place, patients should avoid activities that could allow water to enter the ear, such as swimming.


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