A mother brings in her 7-year-old son for fever and ear pain. The mother reports the child has had viral symptoms including fever to 101 F, cough, and runny nose for the past 3 days. Earlier in the day, the child began to complain of left ear pain. Examination of the left ear with the Wispr Digital Otoscope reveals this image.
The child has otitis media with effusion (OME).
OME is notable for fluid behind the eardrum (circled area), without other signs of infection such as bulging of the eardrum or loss of bony landmarks. Compare the OME image with acute otitis media (AOM) below. It is easy to confuse OME with AOM if you do not obtain a good view of the eardrum.