Inflammation of the middle ear usually resulting from blockage of the Eustachian tube and subsequent invasion by bacteria. Pus accumulates in the middle ear, creating pressure against the eardrum which leads to pain and impairment of hearing. The pain may be excruciating and the eardrum may perforate. Physical exertion should be avoided during the infective stage. This applies especially to swimmers since water entering the middle ear may seriously damage the auditory ossicles. Treatment is usually with oral (and rarely intravenous) antibiotics; antibiotic eardrops are rarely useful.
Subjects: Sports and Exercise Medicine.