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Prim Care. 2014 Mar;41(1):11-8. doi: 10.1016/j.pop.2013.10.002. Epub 2013 Nov 12.

Acute otitis media.

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Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Kansas School of Medicine- Wichita, 1010 North Kansas, Wichita, KS 67214, USA. Electronic address:


One in 4 children will have at least 1 episode of acute otitis media (AOM) by age 10 years. AOM results from infection of fluid that has become trapped in the middle ear. The bacteria that most often cause AOM are Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, and Moraxella catarrhalis. Differentiating AOM from otitis media with effusion (OME) is a critical skill for physicians, as accurate diagnosis will guide appropriate treatment of these conditions. Although fluid is present in the middle ear in both conditions, the fluid is not infected in OME as is seen in AOM patients.


Acute otitis media; Antibiotics; Otitis media with effusion; Tympanostomy tube

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