Colds, allergy issues, upper respiratory infections and bacteria or viruses, can cause mucus and pus to build up in the middle ear space behind the eardrum.
Otitis Media is swelling (inflammation) of the middle ear space. This swelling may be caused by an infection in the middle ear in one or both ears. It is also a common cause of hearing loss in children. Winter and early spring are the typical times of the year when people develop otitis media. This can cause painful earaches and hearing loss. Hearing loss in children can affect their learning and speech development, but can usually be restored.
Acute Otitis Media: a sudden painful ear infection
Serous Otitis Media: fluid, pus, or mucus stays in the middle ear without draining
Chronic Otitis Media: lasting for weeks, months or years
A hole or tear in the eardrum (the thin membrane between the ear canal and the middle ear) can be painful. You may see bloody drainage from the ear, lose hearing and have pain and/or ringing in the ear (tinnitus). Call your physician if you think your eardrum has burst (perforated).