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Can Chronic Ear Infections Cause Hearing Loss

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How Do I Know If I Have An Ear Infection

Pet Ear Infections and Preventing Deafness

Ear infections are the most common reason children are brought to the doctor and estimates suggest that by their third birthday, 5 in 6 children will have suffered from an ear infection. Theyre not exclusive to children either, adults can get them too. If youre having ear pain or your child is complaining of ear pain, you are probably wondering do ear infections go away on their own? or do I really have to take my child to the doctor for another ear infection?.;

Joy Victory Managing Editor Healthy Hearing

Joy Victory has extensive experience editing consumer health information. Her training in particular has focused on how to best communicate evidence-based medical guidelines and clinical trial results;to the public.;She strives to make health content accurate, accessible and engaging to the public.Read more about Joy.

When To Get Medical Help

A GP can help;if you think you’re losing your hearing.

  • if you or your child suddenly lose hearing , call a GP or NHS 111;as soon as possible
  • if you think your or your child’s hearing is getting;gradually worse, make an appointment to see a GP
  • if you’re concerned;about a;friend’s or family member’s hearing, encourage them to see a GP

The GP will ask about your symptoms and look inside your ears;using a small handheld torch with a magnifying lens. They can also do some simple checks of your hearing.

If needed, they can refer you to a specialist for more hearing tests.

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How Sinusitis Affects Your Hearing

Sinusitis develops as the Eustachian tube gets obstructed or malfunctions. The Eustachian tube connects your nose to your middle ear and is a narrow canal.

It helps to equalize pressure in the middle ear. If sinusitis is not handled correctly or is left untreated for an extended period, it may cause temporary or permanent hearing loss.

When a sinus infection travels to the ear, particularly the middle ear, hearing loss occurs. Fluid builds up in the sinus cavities due to pressure from the infection overflowing over into the Eustachian tube.

Fluids block the middle ear and build up pressure in the eardrum as the Eustachian tube swells, creating inflammation and hearing loss.

Hearing usually recovers after the fluid leaves the eardrum in acute sinusitis, although some of the fluid can linger in the ear in young children who are growing and developing, triggering long-term hearing loss.

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What Are The Causes Of Ear Infections

Can Ear Infections Cause Hearing Loss?

Middle ear infections are almost always associated with upper respiratory infections, such as the common cold. In the back of the throat are the Eustachian tubes, which connect the throat to the middle ear. Normally, the Eustachian tubes keep the middle ear, the small space behind the eardrum, clean and dry by bringing air that we breathe through our nose or mouth through the tubes and to the middle ear. The infection, however,;causes the back of the throat to become swollen and inflamed, blocking the Eustachian tubes.

When the Eustachian tubes become blocked due to swelling or inflammation, they can no longer bring drying air to the middle ear. As a result, the cavity in the middle ear becomes damp and warm, which is a perfect place for bacteria to grow and cause infection. Because the Eustachian tubes are blocked, pressure can build up in the middle ear space and fluid cant drain away via the Eustachian tubes as it normally would. The pressure and excessive fluid can result in pain, pressure, and temporary hearing loss.

Allergies, such as pollen, dust, pet dander, or food allergies, can produce effects similar to an upper respiratory infection and can cause or exacerbate ear infections in both children and adults. Its possible that bacteria can invade a persons body and directly cause an ear infection, but its much more common for an ear infection to follow an upper respiratory infection or allergic reaction.

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Can An Ear Infection Cause Hearing Loss

If you notice sounds seem muffled or distorted, you may be searching for a reason as to why. According to UnityPoint Health, ear infections account for more than 30 million trips to the doctor every year in the United States. Ear infections can cause hearing lossâbut in most cases, itâs temporary. Letâs explore this more.

When Should I Call The Doctor About An Ear Infection

  • You or your child develops a stiff neck.
  • Your child acts sluggish, looks or acts very sick, or does not stop crying despite all efforts.
  • Your childs walk is not steady; he or she is physically very weak.
  • You or your childs ear pain is severe.
  • You or your child has a fever over 104° F .
  • Your child is showing signs of weakness in their face .
  • You see bloody or pus-filled fluid draining from the ear.
  • The fever remains or comes back more than 48 hours after starting an antibiotic.
  • Ear pain is not better after three days of taking an antibiotic.
  • Ear pain is severe.
  • You have any questions or concerns.

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Different Types Of Ear Infections

The middle ear is the site of most common ear infections. With its direct link to the throat and respiratory system, any infection of your nose or throat area can easily spread to the ear. The following are the common types of ear infections:

Outer Ear/Ear Canal Infections: The medical term for this is otitis externa. It is often caused by too much water or sand getting into your ear canal. As a result, it is also called swimmers ear. But water is not the only cause of this condition. Excessive cleaning of the ear canal can cause scratches that lead to inflammation. The risk is higher if you use sharper objects to clean your ear.

Skin conditions like dermatitis and eczema can also lead to otitis externa. Some shampoos and bubble baths can also cause skin reactions that lead to infection in your ear canal. The infection leads to blockage of the ear canal with fluids, leading to a partial hearing loss. Symptoms include pain in the ear and a liquid discharge from the ears. This is a less severe condition that is easily treated with antibiotic eardrops. The hearing returns to normal within a few days after the infection is treated.

Dont play deaf when your ear tries to warn you! Chronic ear infections need treatment ASAP!! #HealthStatus

Ear Infection And Hearing Loss

Can ear infections cause hearing loss?

What is otitis media and ear infection?

Otitis media refers to inflammation of the middle ear. When an abrupt infection occurs, the condition is called acute otitis media. Acute otitis media occurs when a cold, allergy, and the presence of bacteria or viruses lead to the accumulation of pus and mucus behind the eardrum, blocking the Eustachian tube. This can cause earache and fever.

When fluid sits in the middle ear for weeks, the condition is known as otitis media with effusion. This occurs in a recovering ear infection. Fluid can remain in the ear for weeks to many months. If not treated, chronic ear infections have potentially serious consequences such as temporary hearing loss.

Why do children have more ear infections than adults?

To understand earaches and ear infections, you must first know about the Eustachian tube, a narrow channel connecting the inside of the ear to the back of the throat, just above the soft palate and uvula. The tube allows drainage of fluid from the middle ear, which prevents it from building up and bursting the thin ear drum. In a healthy ear, the fluid drains down the tube, assisted by tiny hair cells, and is swallowed.

How does otitis media affect hearing?

Most people with middle ear infection or fluid have some degree of hearing loss. The average hearing loss in ears with fluid is 24 decibels equivalent to wearing ear plugs. Thicker fluid can cause much more loss, up to 45 decibels .

Types of hearing loss

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Chronic Otitis Media And Hearing Loss

  • Chronic Otitis Media and Hearing Loss

What is otitis media?

Otitis media refers to inflammation of the middle ear. When infection occurs, the condition is called “acute otitis media.” Acute otitis media occurs when a cold, allergy, or upper respiratory infection, and the presence of bacteria or viruses lead to the accumulation of pus and mucus behind the eardrum, blocking the Eustachian tube. This causes earache and swelling.

When fluid forms in the middle ear, the condition is known as “otitis media with effusion.” This occurs in a recovering ear infection or when one is about to occur. Fluid can remain in the ear for weeks to many months. When a discharge from the ear persists or repeatedly returns, this is sometimes called chronic middle ear infection. Fluid can remain in the ear up to three weeks following the infection. If not treated, chronic ear infections have potentially serious consequences such as temporary or permanent hearing loss.How does otitis media affect a childs hearing?

All children with middle ear infection or fluid have some degree of hearing loss. The average hearing loss in ears with fluid is 24 decibels…equivalent to wearing ear plugs. Thicker fluid can cause much more loss, up to 45 decibels .

Do children lose their hearing for reasons other than chronic otitis media?

Children can incur temporary hearing loss for other reasons than chronic middle ear infection and Eustachian tube dysfunction. They include:

  • Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty
  • What Is An Ear Infection

    An ear infection, officially known as otitis media is the inflammation of the middle ear. It is usually caused by bacteria that materializes when fluid builds up behind the eardrum. They can also be caused by viral infections, which makes treatment more complicated because antibiotics wont help in this instance.

    The three main types of ear infections are acute otitis media, otitis media with effusion, and chronic otitis media with effusion.;

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    Otitus Media What Is It

    Simply put, otitis media is an infection of the middle ear. It could possibly be any kind of microorganism causing the infection however bacteria is the most common.

    The main way an infection is specified is by what part of the ear it occurs in. When the infection is in the pinna, or outer ear, or in front of the eardrum, the condition is otitis externa or swimmers ear. If the bacterial growth occurs in the cochlea, the medical term is labyrinthitis or inner ear infection.

    The middle ear is comprised of the space behind the eardrum but in front of the cochlea. The membranes of the inner ear are vibrated by three little bones called ossicles which are located in this area. The eardrum will often actually break because of the pressure from this sort of infection, which is likely to be quite painful. This pressure is not only very painful, it causes hearing loss. The ear canal can be blocked by infectious material which can then cause a loss of hearing.

    A middle ear infection includes the following symptoms:

    • Ear drainage
    • Pain in the ear
    • Diminished ability to hear

    Usually, hearing will return eventually. The ear canal will then open up and hearing will return. The infection gets resolved and your hearing comes back. Sometimes there are complications, though.

    What Can You Do To Prevent This Permanent Hearing Loss

    Ear Infections & Hearing Loss

    Above all, see a doctor if you believe that you have an ear infection. You shouldnt wait if you want to preserve your hearing. Also, dont ignore chronic ear infections. More damage is caused by more severe infections. Ear infections normally start with allergies, sinus infections, and colds so take measures to avoid them. If you are a smoker, now is the right time to quit, too, because smoking increases your risk of getting chronic respiratory problems.

    If youve had an ear infection and still are having problems hearing, see your doctor. Other things can cause conductive hearing loss, but you may have some damage. If it turns out its permanent, hearing aids will help you hear again. To get more info about hearing aids, schedule an appointment with a hearing specialist.

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    How Long Does Hearing Loss Last In Adults

    There are two main types of auditory loss, conductive impairment and sensorineural auditory loss. Conductive loss is often temporary. When the blockage is treated, the impairment usually goes away. Ear infections are typically easily treated with antibiotics. Recurrent ear infections may need further treatment. A doctor can insert a tube in the eardrum to keep the fluid from building up, known as a Eustachian tube. If your hearing doesnt get back to normal after treatment, you should discuss this with your doctor and an auditory professional.

    Ear infections can also cause pressure to build up in the ear, which can cause the eardrum to rupture. Left untreated, this can cause damage to the eardrum which can reduce acuity. The tympanic membrane, which is another part of the ear that vibrates in response to sound, can also be scarred from chronic, recurrent ear infections. This, too, can affect hearing.

    The second type of loss, sensorineural, occurs when there is damage to the auditory nerve or inner ear. The most common cause of this type of impairment is age-related, known as presbycusis. Sensorineural loss that is age-related is generally permanent, but the impairment can be mitigated with devices. When sensorineural loss occurs suddenly, within three days or less, a medical provider should be contacted immediately.

    How Long Does Hearing Loss Last After An Ear Infection Author: Admin

    Ear infections are common in children, but even adults deal with ear infections. Hearing loss from an infection can occur when fluid builds up in the middle ear. This prevents sounds from getting through to the eardrum, which causes auditory loss. This is called conductive auditory impairment, which means that there is an obstruction. When you have hearing loss from an ear infection, it usually isnt permanent. However, there are a lot of factors that can influence how long the impairment lasts.

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    Can Ear Infection Cause Hearing Loss

    Hearing loss can be caused by a variety of factors including infections , ageing, injury, exposure to noise, infection and heredity. These factors affect the auditory nerve, causing the most common types of hearing impairment, a sensorineural, conductive or mixed hearing loss. But did you know that an ear infection can cause hearing loss?

    Hearing loss due to an ear infection is called conductive hearing loss. A middle ear infection can cause fluid to build up, obstructing the eardrum movement and the tiny bones that are attached to it. This ultimately results in hearing problems. The inner ear can also get infected and trigger a hearing deficit.

  • What is Hearing Deficit or Hearing deficiency?
  • How Does Otitis Media Affect A Childs Hearing

    Ear Infections

    All children with middle ear infection or fluid have some degree of hearing loss. The average hearing loss in ears with fluid is 24 decibelsequivalent to wearing ear plugs. Thicker fluid can cause much more loss, up to 45 decibels .Your child may have hearing loss if he or she is unable to understand certain words and speaks louder than normal. Essentially, a child experiencing hearing loss from middle ear infections will hear muffled sounds and misunderstand speech rather than incur a complete hearing loss. Even so, the consequences can be significant the young patient could permanently lose the ability to consistently understand speech in a noisy environment leading to a delay in learning important speech and language skills.

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    Can Stress Cause You To Lose Your Hearing

    Although it might sound strange, stress can negatively affect your hearing health. Stress and anxiety tend to have an impact on your circulation. Since the health of the tiny hairs responsible for translating sound into electrical impulses depends on circulation, excessive and chronic stress can lead to hearing loss. Stress is known to cause sudden hearing loss. ;;

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    Are You Or A Loved One Struggling With Hearing Loss From Chronic Ear Infections Take The Step Today To Learn About The Baha System To Help You Find The Relief You Have Been Hoping At Http: //wwwcochlearcom/us/baha

  • Gustafsson J. BCDrive performance vs. conventional bone conduction transducer. Cochlear Bone Anchored Solutions AB, 629908, 2015.
  • Bidadi S, Nejadkazem M, Naderpour M. The relationship between chronic otitis media-induced hearing loss and the acquisition of social skills. Archives of Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery. 2008 Nov;139:665-70.
  • Helvik AS, Jacobsen G, Hallberg LR. Psychological well-being of adults with acquired hearing impairment. Disability and Rehabilitation. 2006 May 15;28:535-45.
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    Will My Hearing Loss Be Permanent After An Ear Infection

    by Anderson Audiology | Aug 15, 2018 | Hearing Loss Articles

    An ear infection is the well-known name, but its medically referred to as otitis media or AOM. These ear infections can have an affect on children as well as adults, particularly after a cold or sinus infection. If you have a bad tooth, that can also lead to an ear infection.

    Hearing loss is one of the primary symptoms of an infection in the middle ear. But is it going to last forever? You might not recognize it but there is no simple answer. Ear infections have a lot going on. There is damage which can be caused that you need to understand and also how that injury can affect your hearing.

    What Should I Expect If I Or My Child Has An Ear Infection

    Can Chronic Ear Infection in Kids Cause Long Term Hearing ...

    Ear infections are common in children. Adults can get them too. Most ear infections are not serious. Your healthcare provider will recommend over-the-counter medications to relieve pain and fever. Pain relief may begin as soon as a few hours after taking the drug.

    Your healthcare provider may wait a few days before prescribing an antibiotic. Many infections go away on their own without the need for antibiotics. If you or your child receives an antibiotic, you should start to see improvement within two to three days.

    If you or your child has ongoing or frequent infections, or if fluid remains in the middle ear and puts hearing at risk, ear tubes may be surgically implanted in the eardrum to keep fluid draining from the eustachian tube as it normally should.

    Never hesitate to contact your healthcare provider if you have any concerns or questions.

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