Otitis media (Latin) is inflammation of the middle ear, or middle ear infection.
It occurs in the area between the tympanic membrane and the inner ear, including a duct known as the eustachian tube. It is one of the two most common causes of earache – the other being otitis externa. Diseases other than ear infections can also cause ear pain, including cancers of any structure that shares nerve supply with the ear and shingles which can lead to herpes zoster oticus. Though painful, otitis media is not threatening and usually heals on its own within 2–6 weeks.