Otitis media (OM) is an infection or inflammation of the middle ear. This inflammation often begins when infections that cause sore throats, colds, or other respiratory or breathing problems spread to the middle ear. These can be viral or bacterial infections. Seventy-five percent of children experience at least one episode of otitis media by their third birthday. Almost half of these children will have three or more ear infections during their first 3 years. It is estimated that medical costs and lost wages because of otitis media amount to $5 billion* a year in the United States. Although otitis media is primarily a disease of infants and young children, it can also affect adults.
Otitis media not only causes severe pain but may result in serious complications if it is not treated. An untreated infection can travel from the middle ear to the nearby parts of the head, including the brain. Although the hearing loss caused by otitis media is usually temporary, untreated otitis media may lead to permanent hearing impairment. Persistent fluid in the middle ear and chronic otitis media can reduce a child's hearing at a time that is critical for speech and language development. Children who have early hearing impairment from frequent ear infections are likely to have speech and language disabilities.
Antibiotics fail to cure chronic ear infections because they are due to biofilms, not planktonic bacteria colonizing the middle ear, according to Garth Ehrlich, executive director of the Allegheny Singer Research Institute Center for Genomic Sciences in Pittsburgh, PA. What is true for OM also more generally endorses an emerging biofilm paradigm of chronic infectious disease, he says. "It's difficult to treat biofilms with the current clinical armamentarium," Ehrlich continues.
This team of researchers "has gathered significant evidence to support the hypothesis that a majority of middle ear inflammation problems are actually biofilm infections," says Pete Greenberg, chair of microbiology at the University of Washington, Seattle. Consequently, they cannot be resolved with antibiotics, but "efforts to develop anti-biofilm agents could revolutionize the treatment of otitis media," he adds.
Phage Therapy Center Treatment of Otitis Media
At Phage Therapy Center it is understood that a primary cause of Otitis media is the formation of colonies of multiple species of pathogenic and non-pathogenic microorganisms called "biofilm". These complex mixtures of microbes (biofilms) typically resist the effects of antibiotics, which otherwise kill rapidly dividing planktonic bacteria of the same species.
Phage Therapy Center has developed a novel treatment protocol for otitis media that is currently available only at one of our clinics. Our treatment combines a number of unique Georgian medical technologies that include the use of bacteriophages with other medications.
The Phage Therapy Center treatment:
- clears the microbial infection / biofilm;
- provides immediate relief from chronic pain and fatigue.
Treatment typically involves a very thorough medical examination and treatment at our out-patient clinic, typically for approximately ten consecutive days. Prior to coming to a Phage Therapy Center clinic for treatment, it is highly recommended that patient provide a bacterial sample and a medical report.
Otitis Media (Ear Infection)
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
Persister Cells and the Paradox of Chronic Infections
American Society of Microbiology
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