Otitis Media (with Effusion) | Symptoms


What are the symptoms of ear infections?

The most common symptoms of an acute middle ear infection (otitis media) are ear pain and fever. If your child is too young to tell you what hurts, he or she may cry or pull at his or her ear. Your child may also be irritable or listless, have trouble hearing, or not feel like eating or sleeping.

What are the symptoms of otitis media with effusion?

Children who have otitis media with effusion may have the following symptoms:

  • A feeling of fullness in the ear
  • Muffled hearing
  • Fluid that drains from the ears (if the eardrum has ruptured)
  • Some pain inside the ear (if your child is too young to speak and tell you his or her ear hurts, he or she may tug at the ear often)
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Irritability
  • Fever
  • Headache

Sometimes, otitis media with effusion does not cause any symptoms.


See a list of resources used in the development of this information.

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 05/16
Created: 01/99


Otitis Media (with Effusion)



Causes & Risk Factors