• Can Ear Infections Cause Permanent Hearing Loss?

    November 4, 2021

    Ear infections, also referred to medically as acute otitis media, are a type of infection that a person experiences in their middle ear. This section of the ear positioned behind the eardrum contains tiny vibrating bones and is filled with air.

    Symptoms and Causes of Ear Infections

    The symptoms of ear infections tend to come on suddenly in both children and adults. The most noticeable symptoms include ear drainage, ear pain, and trouble hearing. With children, you may notice difficulty sleeping, fussiness, and even a fever.

    Children are more likely to experience ear infections than adults. This boils down to two main reasons. First, a child’s immune system isn’t as developed as an adult’s immune system, so they can’t fight off respiratory illnesses as well. Second, children’s eustachian tubes tend to be more horizontal as they’re undeveloped. This makes it more difficult for fluid to drain from the middle ear.

    Ear infections are caused by a virus or bacteria infection of the middle ear. In many cases, ear infections result from other illnesses like colds or the flu that involve swelling. When the eustachian tubes in the middle ear become swollen, they can block in the fluid that, ultimately, becomes infected.

    Can Untreated Ear Infections Lead to Permanent Hearing Loss

    Whenever you notice the symptoms of an ear infection lasting for more than a couple of days, it’s best to check with your physician. Since ear infection symptoms can indicate other conditions, it’s best to ensure that an ear infection is a correct diagnosis. More severe ear infections may require the use of antibiotics for successful treatment.

    It’s important to note that the majority of ear infections don’t cause any long-term complications. Sufferers may experience mild hearing loss while they have an infection due to fluid buildup in the ear. However, once the infection goes away, their hearing goes back to normal.

    However, when a person experiences multiple ear infections, it’s a warning sign of potential long-term impairment. Infections that are not closely watched by a medical professional could damage the sensitive bones inside the middle ear. These are tiny and delicate bones that can’t be replaced once they are destroyed by bacteria.

    Contact Us Today

    If you think you have an ear infection, it’s time to get it examined by a specialist. If you notice that you have trouble hearing even after your ear infection has been treated, it’s time to contact us today. Let our hearing care specialists evaluate your hearing and identify the problem so that we can work together to come up with a solution to enhance your hearing.

    Resources:

    • https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ear-infections/symptoms-causes/syc-20351616
    • https://www.healthyhearing.com/help/hearing-loss/middle-ear-infections

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