JOHN BAVOSI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN BAVOSI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Otitis media. Illustration showing the area of the middle ear affected by otitis media. Otitis media is inflammation of the middle ear due to an infection in the eustachian tube (lower right) which joins the middle ear to the nasal cavity. The infection causes blockage of the tube, and a build-up of pus (yellow) occurs behind the eardrum (red, lower left). This causes ear pain & impaired hearing. The infection can usually be cleared up with antibiotics. Also see is the cochlea (purple, centre right) which detects sound, and the stapes, incus and malleus ear bones (light brown, centre left). Semicircular canals (purple, upper centre) control balance.
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