What are the complications?
The infection (pus) in the middle ear can progress to cause the eardrum to bulge out as pressure builds and is very painful. The eardrum cam then rupture (burst), draining pus into the ear canal. When this happens the child usually settles as the pain goes away.
This hole in the eardrum should heal normally if dry and kept free of water.
Months of chronic discharge can lead to a larger hole developing in the eardrum and may eventually damage the bones of hearing.
If the symptoms of AOM don’t settle after a course of antibiotics, a referral to the ENT specialist is suggested. Some children may develop meningitis or acute mastoiditis.