ENT Head & Neck Surgery Center

Rm 02, 5/F., Kai Seng Commerical Centre,
4-6 Hankow Road, TST Kln, HK
(near Kowloon Hotel)
Tel: (852) 3100 0555
Fax: (852) 3100 0556

Lawrence Chow / ENT Doctor

There’s No Middle Ground with Otitis Media

Don’t leave otitis media untreated, especially in children! This is a serious condition that demands immediate medical attention because it’s the most common cause of hearing loss among children. Indeed, there shouldn’t be a middle ground when it comes to otitis media – either you have it treated ASAP or it will result to hearing loss.


Middle Ear Infection

Otitis media simply translates to inflammation of the middle ear, usually as a result of an infection. It may occur in just one ear although it can also occur in both ears.  It may affect adults, too, but only occasionally, unlike children where it’s more common.


If you suspect that your child has otitis media, you should take him to his pediatrician or ENT doctor ASAP. Your pediatrician or ENT doctor will use several diagnostic tools in determining its presence or absence with the pneumatic otoscope as the most commonly used.


This tool introduces air into the eardrum. If the middle ear has little to no movement when blown on, then it’s likely filled with fluid.


But there are also other tests that can be done in case of doubt, or if there are persistent issues, or the infection hasn’t responded well to previous treatments. These include tympanometry to measure the eardrum’s movement; acoustic reflectometry to indirectly measure the amount fluid in the middle ear; and tympanocentesis to drain fluid for lab test purposes.


Meaning of Diagnosis

Your doctor will determine the type of otitis media that your child has. The diagnosis will, in turn, affect the treatment plan for his case so there’s a higher chance of success.  Your child may have one of these types:


  • Acute otitis media is simply known as an ear infection. This usually involves fluid buildup in the middle ear accompanied by signs of an infection. The symptoms manifested themselves relatively suddenly, too, instead of building up over time.


  • Otitis media with effusion means the middle ear has fluid buildup but there are no signs of infection.


  • Chronic suppurative otitis media means the eardrum has been perforated (i.e., with signs of tears) due to persistent ear infections.


In many of the cases, the infection can be treated with antibiotics. But your doctor will determine the best treatment plan for your child depending on his age, symptoms (i.e., duration, severity, and frequency), and medical history.


Your doctor may also adopt a wait-and-see approach, as recommended by the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Academy of Pediatrics. This is because your child’s symptoms can improve within two days and his infection can resolve without medication. But close supervision (i.e., follow-ups) is a must to be on the safe side.



HK ENT Specialist offer ear services as below:

Ear (Otology)

Neonatal hearing screening

Paediatric and adult hearing test

Hearing restoration treatments including cochlear implant surgery, bone anchored hearing aid surgery

Stapedectomy and ossiculoplasty

A comprehensive range of micro ear surgery, etc.


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