Skip to content. Otitis media is another name for a middle ear infection. It means an infection behind your eardrum. This kind of ear infection can happen after any condition that keeps fluid from draining from the middle ear. These conditions include allergies, a cold, a sore throat, or a respiratory infection.
Ear infections in adults (middle ear): Causes, symptoms, and treatment
Your doctor can usually diagnose an ear infection or another condition based on the symptoms you describe and an exam. The doctor will likely use a lighted instrument an otoscope to look at the ears, throat and nasal passage. He or she will also likely listen to your child breathe with a stethoscope. An instrument called a pneumatic otoscope is often the only specialized tool a doctor needs to diagnose an ear infection.