May present with otalgia, irritability, decreased hearing, anorexia, vomiting, or fever, usually in the presence of an ongoing viral respiratory infection.
Physical examination will reveal a bulging, opacified tympanic membrane with decreased mobility. The membrane may be white, yellow, pink, or red.
Diagnosis is generally made with conventional otoscopy. Additional tests might include pneumatic otoscopy or tympanometry to confirm the presence of an effusion.
Treatment includes pain control with analgesics and might include antibiotics.
Complications include perforation of the tympanic membrane and, rarely, mastoiditis, seventh cranial nerve palsy, or sigmoid sinus thrombosis.
Otoscopy appearance of a bulging, erythematous tympanic membrane and absent landmarks
From the personal collection of Dr Armengol
Epocrates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Epocrates iPhone Epocrates Android Epocrates Palm Epocrates Free Download
Epocrates Institutional Sales Epocrates Market Research Epocrates CME Epocrates Mobile Resource Centers Epocrates Clinical Content