Treatments for Otitis Media in Children

How will my child's otitis media be treated?

Specific treatment for otitis media will be determined by your child's physician. Treatment may include:

  • antibiotic medication by mouth or ear drops
  • medication (for pain)

If fluid remains in the ear(s) for longer than three months, your child's physician may suggest that small tubes be placed in the ear(s). This surgical procedure, called myringotomy, involves making a small opening in the eardrum to drain the fluid and relieve the pressure from the middle ear. A small tube is placed in the opening of the eardrum to ventilate the middle ear and to prevent fluid from accumulating. Your child's hearing is restored after the fluid is drained. The tubes usually fall out on their own after six to twelve months.

Your child's surgeon may also recommend the removal of the adenoids (lymph tissue located in the space above the soft roof of the mouth, also called nasopharynx) if they are infected. Removal of the adenoids has shown to help some children with otitis media.

Treatment will depend upon the type of otitis media. Consult your child's physician regarding treatment options.