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Last Updated: 1/21/2014  

Acute Otitis Media (Pediatrics)

Prevention
  • Consider measures to prevent otitis media including breast feeding, pneumococcal vaccination, and avoidance of passive smoke.

Diagnosis
  • Ask children with suspected AOM or their caregivers about symptoms of AOM, particularly ear pain.

  • Carefully examine the ear for a red, cloudy, bulging, immobile tympanic membrane.

Therapy
  • Consider observation as an option in children over age 2 with uncomplicated AOM or in younger children with uncertain diagnosis

  • Use analgesics to treat symptoms of pain in children with AOM.

  • Consider the use of antibiotics to treat AOM, generally with a 7- to 10-day course of amoxicillin. Consider a 5-day course of antibiotics in children over age 6 without systemic signs of illness.

  • Avoid using decongestant and/or antihistamine therapy for the treatment of AOM in children.

DOI: 10.7326/d610
The information included herein should never be used as a substitute for clinical judgment and does not represent an official position of ACP.
Disclosures:
Lee R. Atkinson-McEvoy, MD has no financial relationships with pharmaceutical companies, biomedical device manufacturers, or health-care related organizations. Joseph T. Wayne, MD, MPH, FACP has no financial relationships with pharmaceutical companies, biomedical device manufacturers, or health-care related organizations.
Deborah Korenstein, MD, FACP, Editor in Chief, ACP Smart Medicine, has no relationships with any entity producing, marketing, re-selling, or distributing health care goods or services consumed by, or used on, patients. Richard B. Lynn, MD, FACP, Editor, ACP Smart Medicine, has no relationships with any entity producing, marketing, re-selling, or distributing health care goods or services consumed by, or used on, patients.
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