Chronic Middle Ear Fluid

Chronic ear infection is described as an inflammation or infection of the middle ear that persists or keeps coming back, causing long-term or permanent damage to the ear. In the ears, a eustachian tube runs from the middle ear to the back of the throat. This tube drains fluid that is made in the middle ear. If the eustachian tube becomes blocked, fluid can build up. When this happens, germs such as bacteria and viruses can multiply and cause an infection. This is called an acute ear infectionacute ear infection (acute otitis media).

Fluid in the middle ear may become very thick and can cause the eardrum (tympanic membrane) to stick to the bones in the middle ear. Ear infections are more common in children because their Eustachian tubes are shorter, narrower, and more horizontal than in adults. Chronic ear infections are much less common than acute ear infections.