J Korean Med Assoc.  2004 Mar;47(3):239-244. 10.5124/jkma.2004.47.3.239.

Management of Otitis Media in Children

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Severance Hospital, Korea. dskim6634@yumc.yonsei.ac.kr


Otitls media is one of the most common diseases during childhood with a peak incidence and prevalence from 6 to 20 months of age. It is the most frequent disease managed with antibiotics in children. The infection typically develops as a result of bacterial contamination through the Eustachian tube in the presence of preexisting inflammation in the middle ear. The optimal method of management remains open to question and is the subject of continuing controversy. Over-diagnosis of the disease and unnecessary prescription of antibiotics for this condition have contributed to the spread of antimicrobial resistance. Thus, the differential diagnosis between acute otitis media and otitis media with effusion is important to determine the management strategy; whether to use antibiotics and which antibiotics to use when necessary. Otitis media may be accompanied by a variable degree of conductive hearing loss. Both infectious and noninfectious complications of otitis media may result in significant morbidity and complications, including acute and chronic mastoiditis, petrositis, and intracranial infection.


Acute otitis media; Otitis media with effusion; Children
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