Middle-ear infection, or otitis media, is an ear infection that is usually caused by bacteria or viruses.
Common symptoms include ear pain and fever and in some cases, it may also cause drainage of fluid from the ear or hearing loss. Although most ear infections go away on their own, some require antibiotics.
As high doses of oral antibiotics are needed to get to the ear, side effects like diarrhoea, rashes and oral thrush are common.
“With oral antibiotics, you have to treat the entire body repeatedly just to get to the middle ear,” said Rong Yang, PhD, a chemical engineer at Boston Children’s Hospital in Massachusetts, US.
However, “with the gel, a paediatrician can administer the entire antibiotic course all at once, and only where it’s needed,” Yang said.