DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Otitis media. View of the outer ear exuding pus in a child suffering chronic otitis media, with a perforated eardrum. Otitis media is an infection of the middle ear (cavity between the eardrum and inner ear). Inflammation of this area occurs as a result of viral or bacterial infection. Otitis media occurs most often in children, with symptoms of earache and sometimes a bloody discharge. A build-up of pus may cause the eardrum to bulge and, as here, to eventually perforate, resulting in slight deafness and a pus discharge. Treatment is with pain-killing drugs and antibiotics. Chronic persistent cases may need a myringotomy, an operation to drain off the pus.
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