The most common symptoms of a middle ear infection are pain and decreased hearing. Inside the middle ear, three tiny bones (ossicles) normally transfer sound vibrations from the eardrum to the inner ear, where they are turned into nerve impulses that your brain understands as sound. In people with otitis media, however, inflammation and infection may change this normal process. Other symptoms can include fever, general body discomfort, rubbing or pulling of the ears in children, vomiting and diarrhea in infants, dizziness, loss of balance and fluid draining from the ear.
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