What is a Middle Ear Infection?

Acute otitis media (AOM) remains one of the most common condition for which antibiotics are prescribed. AOM can present in a myriad of different ways, ranging from fever, ear tugging and holding of the ear. On clinical examination, a bulging tympanic membrane can be seen. Usually patients are given a course of antibiotics.

Otitis media with effusion (OME) is characterized by the accumulation of fluid in the middle ear behind the tympanic membrane. Most cases will resolve spontaneously however there are some cases persists and causes hearing loss. Patients with persistent middle ear effusion may require surgical treatment with ventilation tubes.


What is the difference between middle ear infection and outer ear infection?

An outer ear infection is also known as otitis externa. This means that there is infection/inflammation over the ear canal. In a middle ear infection, the infection/inflammation is in the middle ear cavity.

Can I still swim with a middle ear infection?

In the acute phase of a middle ear infection (acute otitis media), it may be best to avoid swimming to prevent pain and discomfort. If you are quite well and have otitis media with effusion, you can proceed with swimming. However, should there be discomfort and pain, it is best to stay out of the water for some time.

Why does my child need a Grommet tube insertion?

Grommet tubes or tympanostomy tube insertion is a placement of a tube into the tympanic membrane. This procedure is usually indicated in cases of persistent middle ear effusion and sometimes needed for acute otitis media with complications. After the middle ear effusion is cleared, the hearing improves as well.

The insertion of tube is usually done under general anesthesia in children and under local anesthesia in adults. It is performed using a microscope and is a fast and effective procedure.

Can I still swim after grommet tube placement?

Yes, you can continue to swim. However, avoid diving during this period.

What happens to the grommet tube?

The grommet tube will extrude naturally. Your doctor should be reviewing you regularly to ensure the grommet tube comes out on its own. Rarely is it ever necessary to remove the grommet tube.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I expect from my first ENT specialist visit?

Your ENT doctor will first take a look at your medical history, find out more about the symptoms you’re experiencing and thereafter perform a thorough physical examination. This may include certain procedures such as flexible nasoendoscopy (a look into your nasal passages with a tiny camera). Your issues will be addressed and a suitable treatment plan will be devised for you.

How do I prepare my child for the first visit to the ENT clinic?

Always talk to your child to prepare them for their ENT visit. Find out more about the issues they’re experiencing so that you can assist them in helping the ENT doctor understand their condition. Do bring along a list of their old medications and health booklet.

What modes of payment do you accept?

We accept the following modes of payment:

  • Cash
  • NETS
  • PayNow/PayLah
  • All major credit cards

If you are insured and require more assistance, do approach our clinic staff.

Can I claim my medical bills through my Medisave account?

Yes. All Singaporeans and PR are able to use Medisave for certain consultations, procedures, and medications at our clinic. Please contact us to find out more about the eligible services.

I have insurance. Can I use that to claim for my medical bills?

Selected procedures are deductible if patients have purchased Integrated Shield plans. Please contact us to find out more.

The 6 Approved Integrated Shield Insurers are:

  • NTUC Income’s IncomeShield and Enhanced IncomeShield
  • American International Assurance International Co’s (AIA) HealthShield Gold
  • Great Eastern Life Assurance Co’s SupremeHealth and SupremeHealth Plus
  • Aviva Ltd’s MyShield
  • Prudential Assurance Co’s PRUShield
  • AXA Shield