Acute otitis media (AOM) is a common, symptomatic infection of the middle ear. Nasopharyngeal secretions that contain viruses and bacteria can enter the middle ear via the eustachian tube. Usually the middle ear drains well but if there is eustachian tube swelling, fluid from the middle ear may not drain properly. Under these conditions bacteria and viruses present in the middle ear can multiply, creating clinical AOM.



Summaries of systematic reviews

Evidence Summary: Are topical antibiotics an alternative to oral antibiotics for children with acute otitis media and ear discharge?


Venekamp RP, Prasad V, Hay AD

This summary presents results of a systematic review that searched to identify any published studies comparing the effectiveness of topical antibiotics with oral antibiotics, placebo, or no treatment in children with acute otitis media presenting with ear discharge caused by spontaneous perforation of the eardrum.