Otitis media is an infection of the middle ear that is particularly common in young children. The main symptoms of acute otitis media include: ear ache, a high temperature (fever), being sick, lack of energy, slight hearing loss. It is less common than acute otitis media, some children have a persistent and painless discharge from their ear that lasts for many months as a result of an ear infection. This is known as chronic suppurative otitis media (CSOM). It's estimated that around one in every four children will have had at least one middle ear infection by the time they are 10 years old.
Acute otitis media is very common in childhood. It is the most common condition for which medical care is provided in children under five years of age in the India. The acute otitis media affects 11% of people each year (709 million cases) with half occurring in those below five years. Chronic suppurative otitis media affects about 5% or 31 million of these cases with 22.6% of cases occurring annually under the age of five years.
Otitis media resulted in 2,400 deaths in 2013 down from 4,900 deaths in 1990. The incidence of otitis externa is high. In the India , it has been estimated at 12–14 per 1000 population per year, and has been shown to affect more than 1% of a sample of the population in the United Kingdom over a 12-month period.