Otitis media prevention

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Otitis media Microchapters


Patient Information


Historical Perspective




Differentiating Otitis Media from other Diseases

Epidemiology and Demographics

Risk Factors

Natural History, Complications and Prognosis


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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1] Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Hardik Patel, M.D.; Faizan Sheraz, M.D. [2]; Luke Rusowicz-Orazem, B.S.


Preventing otitis media primarily involves preventing developing nasopharyngitis. This is achieved by the pneumococcal and influenza vaccines, frequently washing hands, and avoiding fluid transmission and respiratory droplets from nasopharyngitis patients. Preventing exposure to air pollution as potential middle ear irritants, such as secondhand smoke, contributes to preventing otitis media. For infants, preventative measures include avoiding pacifiers, avoiding daycare enrollment, and breastfeeding until at least 6 months of age. A prophylactic regimen of antibiotics can prevent otitis media in at-risk infants and children. For otitis media that is chronic or recurrent, preventing recurrence of the disease involves surgery, assuming the manifestation is not self-limited. Myringotomy with tympanostomy tube is the most common surgical preventative measure.

Primary Prevention

Secondary Prevention


  1. Lieberthal AS, Carroll AE, Chonmaitree T, Ganiats TG, Hoberman A, Jackson MA, Joffe MD, Miller DT, Rosenfeld RM, Sevilla XD, Schwartz RH, Thomas PA, Tunkel DE (2013). "The diagnosis and management of acute otitis media". Pediatrics. 131 (3): e964–99. doi:10.1542/peds.2012-3488. PMID 23439909.
  2. "Ear infection - acute: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia".
  3. Sabirov A, Casey JR, Murphy TF, Pichichero ME (2009). "Breast-feeding is associated with a reduced frequency of acute otitis media and high serum antibody levels against NTHi and outer membrane protein vaccine antigen candidate P6". Pediatr. Res. 66 (5): 565–70. doi:10.1203/PDR.0b013e3181b4f8a6. PMC 2783794. PMID 19581824.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Leach AJ, Morris PS (2006). "Antibiotics for the prevention of acute and chronic suppurative otitis media in children". Cochrane Database Syst Rev (4): CD004401. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD004401.pub2. PMID 17054203.
  5. Qureishi A, Lee Y, Belfield K, Birchall JP, Daniel M (2014). "Update on otitis media - prevention and treatment". Infect Drug Resist. 7: 15–24. doi:10.2147/IDR.S39637. PMC 3894142. PMID 24453496.
  6. Bluestone CD (1984). "Surgical management of otitis media". Pediatr Infect Dis. 3 (4): 392–6. PMID 6540871.

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