otitis media

Otitis Media

What is Otitis Media?

Otitis media occurs when the area behind your eardrum gets inflamed.  This inflammation is due to an infection caused by bacteria or viruses.  Otitis media is also called a middle ear infection.  Most people who get otitis media are children, who tend to get it in winter.  In this article we’ll discuss the types, symptoms, and causes of otitis media, and how Chinese Medicine can help.

Types of Otitis Media:

The two types of otitis media are acute otitis media (AOM) and otitis media with effusion (OME).  AOM infections come on quickly and cause redness and swelling around your eardrum.  If you have AOM, mucus or fluids may get trapped in your middle ear, making it difficult to hear.  You may also experience ear pain or a fever.

OME occurs when fluid or mucus continues to build up in your middle ear after an infection.  If you have OME you may feel like your ears are full. You may also have trouble hearing.

Otitis Media Symptoms:

People with otitis media may experience symptoms like:

otitis media
  • Ear pain
  • Difficulty hearing
  • Fever
  • Loss of balance
  • Pulling or tugging the ears
  • Congestion
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Irritability
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Yellow, clear, or bloody discharge from the ears

What Causes Otitis Media?

Otitis media often occurs when a respiratory infection spreads to your ears.  Fluid can sometimes block the tube that connects your throat to your middle ear (eustachian tube).  This can cause a build-up of fluid behind your eardrum.  When bacteria grow in this fluid, it can cause infection and pain.

otitis media

How Can Chinese Medicine Help?

Chinese Medicine has been used for thousands of years, to treat many diseases including ear problems.  In Chinese Medicine, all the organs in your body are interconnected. Every organ has an important part to play.  That means if one organ is too weak, it can affect other parts of your body.  To heal conditions like otitis media, all your organs need to be functioning healthily.

otitis media

Acupuncture is a technique used in Chinese Medicine.  In this technique, your Chinese Medicine practitioner applies very thin needles to specific points on your body.  This allows them to access the complex network of energy meridians in your body. In this way, your acupuncturist can strengthen any weaker organs.

Another way acupuncture can help is by adjusting the flow of energy (Qi) through your body.  This can help to address stagnations, which may be causing symptoms.  In otitis media, fluid builds up behind your eardrum and stagnates.  But acupuncture can treat this stagnation by encouraging fluid to flow away from your ears.


Otitis media is an infection of your middle ear.  It is a very common infection in children and can cause pain and difficulty hearing.  The two types of otitis media are AOM and OME.  Chinese Medicine is a great way to treat otitis media, as it can help to heal your body in a natural, holistic way.

For more information about how Chinese Medicine can help you treat ear problems like otitis media, click here.

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