Conditions + Treatments

Otitis Media in Children

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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

We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115 617-355-6000 | 800-355-7944