Skip to content. Otitis media is another name for a middle ear infection. It means an infection behind your eardrum. This kind of ear infection can happen after any condition that keeps fluid from draining from the middle ear. These conditions include allergies, a cold, a sore throat, or a respiratory infection. Middle ear infections are common in children, but they can also happen in adults.
A healthy ear and an infected ear, including outer, middle, and inner ear, showing inflammation and fluid in the ear. It could be an ear infection. Children are more likely than adults to get ear infections. Some ear infections, such as middle ear infections, need antibiotic treatment, but many can get better without antibiotics.
We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Ear infections are not as common in adults as they are in children, although they can be more serious. The symptoms of ear infections in adults should be closely monitored and diagnosed by a doctor to avoid any complications. Certain situations and actions put some people more at risk for ear infections than others.
We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Ear infections may be more common in children than in adults, but grown-ups are still susceptible to these infections. Unlike childhood ear infections, which are often minor and pass quickly, adult ear infections are frequently signs of a more serious health problem.