Health Guide
Drug Guide

Otitis media in adults

What is it?

Otitis (o-TI-tis) media is an infection (in-FECK-shun) of the middle ear (the space behind the eardrum). This infection is very common in young children, but people of any age can get it. You should feel better two to three days after starting your medicine. If the ear infection is not treated, your eardrum may burst or the infection may spread. Frequent ear infections can cause life-long hearing problems. If your ear infection is being treated with antibiotics, always take them exactly as directed by your caregiver.


Signs and Symptoms:

Wellness Recommendations:

Some vitamins help the body fight infection. Make sure you eat a healthy and balanced diet to include vitamins A, C, and E, and zinc. A daily multivitamin is good if you do not eat a healthy diet.

Medical Care:

You may need antibiotic medicine to treat the ear infection. Ibuprofen or acetaminophen may help fever, ear pain, and achiness. Ear drops may also help your ear pain.

Dietary Measures:

Herbs and Supplements:

Before taking any herbs or supplements, ask your caregiver if it is OK. Talk to your caregiver about how much you should take. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the label. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to. The herbs and supplements listed may or may not help treat your condition.



Other ways of treating your symptoms:

Other ways to treat your symptoms are available to you.

Talk to your caregiver if:


Care Agreement:

You have the right to help plan your care. To help with this plan, you must learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. You can then discuss the treatment options with your caregivers. Work with them to decide what care will be used to treat you. You always have the right to refuse treatment.


1. Chew BP: Antioxidant vitamins affect food animal immunity and health. J Nutr 1995; 125(6 suppl):1804S-1808S.

2. Nicol M: Vitamins and immunity. Allerg Immunol 1993; 25(2):70-73.

3. Prasad AS: Zinc and immunity. Mol Cell Biochem 1998; 188(1-2):63-69.

Last Updated: 9/15/2016

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