Children's Hospital Colorado

Art and Science of Managing AOM (S2:E32)

Acute otitis media (AOM) is a type of ear infection caused by fluid buildup in the middle ear. It’s one of the most common reasons children visit their doctor. Ear infections are also the most common reason pediatricians prescribe antibiotics.

Primary care physicians (PCPs) need to diagnose ear infections in children and know the current recommendations for treating AOM. They also need to recognize any complications of AOM, including perforation of the eardrum.

Listen to our pediatric otolaryngologist discuss AOM in children

Physicians have several considerations when it comes to managing AOM. These include when to wait for AOM to resolve on its own and when to prescribe antibiotics. They also include when to recommend ear tubes and when to diagnose eosinophilic otitis media (EOM).

In this episode, Peggy Kelley, MD, joins us to discuss the classic symptoms and treatment for AOM. She also discusses safe antibiotic prescribing practices and how to approach treatment failure.

Dr. Kelley is a pediatric otolaryngologist at Children’s Hospital Colorado and associate professor of otolaryngology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

In today’s episode, we explore:

  • The criteria for diagnosing AOM
  • Using pneumatic otoscopy to detect effusion
  • How to position a child when looking for fluid in the ear
  • The age group most vulnerable to AOM and how age plays a role in treatment
  • The possible complications of AOM
  • The effect of fluid in the ear on a child’s hearing and its relevance to the 0 to 2 age group
  • Why strict return precautions are necessary in treating AOM
  • The top three antibiotics used to treat ear infections in children
  • Dosage for AOM treatment
  • How to approach treatment failure
  • The new recommendations for ear tubes and AOM
  • How to treat AOM in children with ear tubes
  • Other considerations in managing children with AOM

Managing AOM at Children’s Colorado

At Children’s Colorado, our otolaryngology experts provide comprehensive care for children with AOM. We collaborate with services throughout Children’s Colorado to resolve recurring AOM and any complications. Our multidisciplinary team includes experts in pulmonary medicine, allergy and surgery. Refer a patient to Children’s Colorado.