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Middle Ear Infections

Middle Ear Infections: Glossary

Thursday, April 19, 2012 - 15:01

Contributing Author: Guy Slowik FRCS

Here are definitions of medical terms related to middle ear infection.

Acute otitis media: Infection of the middle ear that comes on quickly

Adenoidectomy: Surgical removal of the adenoids (tissue in the back of the throat)

Adenoids: Glandular swellings of lymphoid tissue at the back of the nose that help protect against infection

Allergen: Any substance that causes an allergic reaction because the body recognizes it as "foreign" or "dangerous"

Allergy: An unusual response to a small amount of a foreign substance that normally does not cause a reaction in another person.

Bacteria: Microscopic organisms; they generally respond to antibiotics, unlike viruses

Chronic otitis media with effusion: A persistent inflammation of the middle ear with fluid trapped in the middle ear; also called glue ear, it is not painful

Culture: A test to see if microorganisms grow in a certain environment

Eustachian tube: The tube that connects the middle ear to the back of the throat; its function is to equalize the air pressure in the ear

General anesthesia: Putting a person to sleep for an operation

Mastoiditis: Infection of the mastoid bone, the bone behind the ear

Myringotomy: An small incision made into the eardrum to allow fluid to drain from the ear

Otitis media: The medical term for a middle ear infection

OtoLAM: A procedure in which a tiny hole is made into the eardrum using a laser

Recurrent acute otitis media: Middle ear infection that occurs repeatedly

Reye's Syndrome: A serious complication in children that may follow a viral infection or after taking aspirin; includes vomiting and drowsiness which may progress to coma and death

Rhinitis: Inflammation of the lining of the nose due to allergy

Topical anesthesia: Applying medication locally to numb that area only

Tympanocentesis: Withdrawing fluid from the middle ear using a needle

Tympanostomy: Making a hole in the eardrum to allow fluid to leak out

Virus: A microscopic organism; antibiotics have no effect on viruses

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