Middle ear infections, also called otitis media, are most common in children but people of all ages can contract them. These infections are usually bacterial or viral and are known to cause inflammation and pain. If this is untreated, it can cause headaches, hearing loss, discomfort, and even meningitis. It is possible that it will require surgical repair and drainage depending on the severity of the inflection. If the infections are consistent and recurring, they could be a sign of a more serious illness.