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Otitis

Definition

Otitis is a general term for infection or inflammation of the ear.

Alternative Names

Ear infection; Infection - ear

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Otitis can affect the inner or outer parts of the ear. The condition is classified according to whether it occurs suddenly and for a short time (acute) or repeatedly over a long period of time (chronic).

When otitis involves the outer ear and ear canal, it is called otitis externa. For specific information, see:

When otitis involves the middle ear, located just behind the eardrum, it is called otitis media: For specific information, see:


Review Date: 7/26/2010
Reviewed By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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Edward Hospital & Health Services
801 S. Washington, Naperville, IL 60540 • (630) 527-3000

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