Otitis Media


Otitis media is inflammation centered in your child's middle ear. It often occurs after a cold, sore throat, or respiratory infection.

  • More than 80 percent of children have at least one episode of otitis media by the time they are 3 years old.
  • Nearly half of these children have three or more episodes by the time they are 3 years old.
  • Otitis media can also affect adults, although it's primarily a condition that occurs in children.
  • Otitis media is the most common diagnosis for children in the US.
  • About 30 million visits to the pediatrician each year are due to otitis media.
  • Otitis media occurs most often in children younger than 7 years old and even more frequently in children between the ages of 6 months and 3 years old.
  • Otitis media is more common in boys than girls.
  • Otitis media occurs more often in the winter and early spring.

How Boston Children's Hospital treats otitis media

Our physicians and researchers have extensive expertise treating otitis media, particularly as a recurrent condition. Your child will be seen through our General Pediatric Otolaryngology Program.

Jonathan Finkelstein, MD, MPH, pediatrician at Children's