What is the middle ear?This drawing shows the various parts of the outer ear, middle ear, and inner ear.
I was told that my child has middle ear fluid. Does this mean he has an ear infection?
Fluid in the middle ear starts out as a sterile fluid. An ear infection occurs when the sterile fluid becomes infected with bacteria. Some children have middle ear fluid without any ear infection.
What are some signs and symptoms of ear infection?
These signs may be an indication of ear infection:
Will my child develop hearing loss from middle ear fluid or an ear infection?
Not necessarily. It depends on the child and the type of middle ear problem.
How can I tell if my child has a hearing loss?
These behaviours may be signs of hearing loss:
I think my child has a middle ear problem. What should I do?
See your doctor right away if you think your child has an ear infection.
Download the Middle Ear Problems pamphlet (PDF).