Many of the treatments for ear infections, particularly antibiotic use and surgical procedures, are often unnecessary in many children. Between 80 - 90% of all children with uncomplicated ear infections recover within a week without antibiotics. Likewise, receiving antibiotics for an acute ear infection does not seem to prevent children from having fluid behind the ears after the infection is cleared up. Antibiotics are rarely recommended for otitis media with effusion. In addition, the overuse of antibiotics has led a serious problem of bacterial strains that are resistant to common antibiotics.
Antibiotics are necessary for treatment of some children with acute otitis media, particularly those who are younger than age 6 months.
Treatment Guidelines for Acute Otis Media (AOM)
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) guidelines and recent evidence support the following recommendations:
Review Date: 05/03/2011
Reviewed By: Harvey Simon, MD, Editor-in-Chief, Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Physician, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.