How does fluid build-up lead to acute otitis media?

Advertisement
Advertisement
The part of the ear that gets blocked by fluid is called the eustachian (you-STAY-shun) tube, which connects the inside of the ear to the back of the throat. Fluid may build up in the middle ear for several reasons. When you or your child has a cold, the middle ear can get filled with fluid just as the nose does, it just doesn't run out as easily from the middle ear. Sometimes the fluid becomes infected, leading to acute otitis media (AOM). After an episode of AOM has been treated with antibiotics or has resolved on its own, fluid may remain in the middle ear and may take a month or longer to go away.

The presence of the CDC logo and CDC content on this page should not be construed to imply endorsement by the US Government of any commercial products or services, or to replace the advice of a medical professional. The mark “CDC” is licensed under authority of the PHS.

Continue Learning about Ear Disorders

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.