JOHN BAVOSI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN BAVOSI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Otitis media. Illustration of a section through the middle ear showing chronic secretory otitis media. At left, the external ear canal (red) ter- minates at the eardrum. Right of this area is the middle ear with semicircular canals (purple) de- marcating the inner ear. An eustachian tube (lower right) communicates with the back of the nose. Inflammation of the middle ear, otitis media, may cause pus build-up (yellow) which can rupture the eardrum. This viral or bacterial infection causes earache, sometimes fever and tinnitus (a ringing). Otitis media occurs most often in children. Treat- ment is with pain-killing drugs and antibiotics, and may require surgery to drain off the pus.
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