KidsMD Health Topics

Otitis Media in Children

  • Overview

    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

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