Otitis Media


** Usually abrupt onset, not gradual

** Tympanic Membrane (TM) is bulging; can’t see landmarks
  • This is the main parameter for Dx
  • May be red, not necessarily
  • Red TM alone is NOT enough to Dx “OM”
** If TM ruptures, pain diminishes / disappears
  • ear drainage, sometimes blood-tinged

See posting Ear Pain.

Some Pictures  [copied from main posting in Blog]

1.  Called “incipient OM” by wikimedia; I’m not convinced, though there is some bulging in the upper TM above the quite-prominent landmark (note that the peripheral redness is in canal).


2.  Not completely convinced here below either that the right ear is infected vs. the left.  But it probably is, because the landmark is a little more obscured, & the lower part of the TM seems to bulge.  Ignore the redness.


3.  Two Left ears here [different patients, obviously]; the one on our right is bulging out to obscure the landmarks (OM for sure).


Once again, please don’t focus on color.  What really matters is if the TM (or maybe part of the TM) is bulging!  In my mind, no bulging = no otits.