Otitis Media: Symptoms, Causes, Cure & Prevention

Otitis media is an infection that can be found in the middle part of the ear. When a person has this, the chances of developing hearing loss increases. And this is true for both kids and adults. To help you better understand how this happens, here’s a comprehensive guide on the symptoms, causes, treatment, and prevention of otitis media.


There is another type of ear infection called otitis externa, which we will be discussion on a separate article.



There are 3 kinds of middle ear infection. The following details each of them.


Acute Otitis Media (AOM): This type of middle ear infection tends to occur suddenly. Fluid and mucus are trapped inside the ear, causing swelling, redness, fever, and ear pain.

Otitis Media with Effusion (OME): A person with OME experiences an accumulation of fluid and mucus  in the middle ear even after an initial infection abates. This causes a person to fill fullness in the ear and have difficulty hearing.

Chronic Otitis Media with Effusion (COME): With COME, fluid tends to reappear over and over again, even without the presence of an infection. This may decline the ability of a person to fight infection and in turn affect the ability to hear.



How do you tell if there’s a possibility of ear infection?

  • You are experiencing pain in the ear
  • You have a fever accompanied by loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting
  • Irritability
  • Thick and yellow or bloody discharge
  • Difficulty sleeping or staying asleep
  • Difficulty hearing


Middle ear infection is caused by a virus or bacteria. It can happen in several ways. First, it can result from colds, allergies, or respiratory infection. Second is through the narrow tube that connects the throat to the ears called eustachian tube. Sometimes, those viruses and bacterias living in the throat can cross to the ears, which results to infection. Also, if the eustachian tube malfunctions, it doesn’t drain fluid from the middle ear the way it’s supposed to. This can cause a buildup of fluid behind the eardrum and result to growth in bacteria.



Ear infection may heal on its own. But if you have been noticing the symptoms mentioned above for a couple of weeks already, go ahead and consult with your hearing health professional. The following treatments may be suggested by your consultant.

  • Drink antibiotics
  • Minor surgery to drain fluid buildup


Follow these simple and practical tips to avoid developing middle ear infections.


Because middle ear infection starts from colds and other illnesses, you must, at all cost, try to avoid getting sick. You can do this by doing the basics—wash your hands frequently, do not share utensils with others, avoid staying out too late in extremely cold weather.


Also, avoid secondhand smoke and have you and your child vaccinated with flu shots and pneumococcal if you can.


If your medical professional found out that your ear infection resulted to hearing loss, he or she will refer you to a hearing care professional. In some cases that leads to permanent hearing loss, purchasing a hearing aid may be suggested. The best way to avoid all these from happening is by following the preventive measures mentioned above. Remember that living healthily goes a long way not only for your ears, but for your overall health as well.


Fore more helpful insights on hearing care, feel free to browse our blog page!

About The Listening Lab

Listening Lab is a home-grown company whose mission is to help our clients restore their hearing to enjoy the life that they desire. Experiencing hearing loss can be detrimental to one’s quality of life. Hence we commit to providing high-quality hearing solutions.

Our hearing solutions include hearing tests and treatment and prescribing hearing aids. Clients may come to get their hearing checked, and we will assess whether hearing aids are required.

If hearing aids are required, clients can choose from a variety of the best hearing aid brands we provide. Each of the products offers unique features that complement daily use and perform well in helping our clients enjoy the life that they desire.

What Do Our Customers Say?

Person in charge nice and helpful with warm smiling face. Should you have hearing problem, can seek for her advise.
Catherine Tang Yap
Your service is marvellous! Patient and friendly. Mr Ching has been a customer of The Listening Lab since 2018. We have been attending to him for his follow up reviews and we are glad to see his progress!
Mr Ching
My husband purchased a Siemens Pure 7PX in 2016. We wish to appreciate Listening Lab for their ongoing attention and professional help they have been providing to us.
Mr & Mrs Sriram
madam Low
My mum has hearing loss for many years. Consultant of Listening Lab helped her fitted with Resound hearing aid. His patience and professionalism was greatly appreciated as the hearing aid enable her to hear and communicate with the people around her especially her grand children. We are happy with the services rendered by consultant. Keep up the good work!!
Madam Low
The Voice of two Generations in Singapore radio, Mr Brian Richmond, has chosen The Listening Lab to be his audiology and hearing services provider. We could not be prouder!

Brian is the definitive household name in English Radio since the early years of Singapore's founding, starting with Rediffusion followed by Radio One and now with Gold 90.5FM as well as Vintage Radio Singapore. His honeyed voice and selection of music filling our ears as we lived the bustle of our daily lives.

Soccer fans from the Malaysia Cup era of soccer will never forget his heart-pounding commentary from "live" matches, as we experienced the ups and downs of the Singapore Lions in the 1970s to 90s.

Our Executive Director Kelvin Lee is proudly beaming ear-to-ear in this photo with Brian. But you wont be able to see it through the masks!
Brian Richmond
I started experiencing loss of hearing sometimes in 2010 (41 years old) owing to some medical issue. I was having difficulties hearing conservation especially in meeting. Thus, giving me the fear in attending meeting.

Initially I started with Phonak hearing aid. It helps amplified the sound and I could hear better then. Somehow, my hearing loss deteriorated further that in late 2012 (43 years old), there was profound loss of hearing on my right ear. Even digital hearing aid could not help. On my left ear there is still about 50% to 60% hearing with hearing aid. I was lost at this point of time. I was considering learning sign language. I went to see my ENT specialist and my audiologist Mr. Bala advised me to go for an CI as an alternative to my hearing loss.

I also thank God for Engineer and Scientist, giving them the knowledge to create such a complex and sophisticate device to help those with hearing loss like me. It will be all perfect if the cost is affordable too.
Jonathan Po
madam goh
I took my mum to Listening Lab at Simei to get her hearing aid fixed, during our first visit, she patiently explained the whole procedure to my mum and also explain to my mum why she really in need to fix the hearing aid. She is very knowledgeable, and friendly, and we are encouraged to ask questions. she is also very patient with old people which is the most importance. Also her after service is superb so I highly recommend.
Mdm Goh
My mum, Madam Kek (73 year old) had the Cochlear implant (CI) done on her left side in 10th September 2019. Thereafter, thanks to the subsequent auditory verbal therapy, evaluation from SGH ENT team, as well as, the support from AB's and Listening Lab staffs; Madam Kek was able to hear, comprehend sound and music from her Cochlear implant, Naida CI Q90, and hearing aid (HA), Naida Link UP, for her right side before end year. We are happy that both the CI and HA have improved mum qualify of life. Now Madam Kek is looking forward to work again to pass her time as she can hear and better communicate with others.
Madam Kek
Titus was implanted when he was 18 months old. He is a happy, talkative 6.5 years old now. AB has been with him for 5 wonderful hearing years and we are looking forward to a bright future that lies ahead for him. AB’s Naída CI sound processors are reliable and the technology is constantly evolving and upgrading. When Titus was introduced to Naida Link CROS, his life was enriched. The wireless network established between his Naida CI sound processor and a Naida Link CROS transmitter allows him to hear from both ears. This changes Titus’s life and the way we interact with him. We are also very pleased with the prompt response and service provided to us. The staff in AB genuinely cares! We want to thank AB for making Titus’s hearing journey an enjoyable and a relatively stress free one!
Titus Pang
mr tan
I have been living with progressive hearing loss for more than three decades. Socially, I find myself fearful of communicating with people and at home, watching 'soundless' television programs is a norm.

An unforgettable experience. Trying on a pair of Resound GN hearing aid, I was energized and revitalized and overwhelmed with emotional tears of joy. The Resound GN is truly remarkable and uniquely equipped with three-friendly-user environmental modes that provide hearing comfort wherever we are.

In particular, I like to extend my utmost gratitude to Hearing Consultant. With her profound compassion and wisdom in guiding me, I am confident that I can forge a formidable partnership with the Listening Lab; So that I can rebuild a new chapter of a happy and value-creative life and simultaneously, leaving behind the painful memories of the past three decades.
Mr Tan

Consult our hearing
specialist and let us
assist you.

Vector (1)

Schedule a video consultation for this
service and let our hearing specialist
assist you with this service