How To Avoid Permanent Hearing Loss From Ear Infections
Although ear infections rarely cause permanent hearing loss, all ear infections should be taken seriously. The easiest way to avoid temporary or permanent hearing loss from ear infections is to avoid ear infections altogether by following these steps:
- Avoid exposure to secondhand smoke; do not smoke, and dont allow smoking in your home
- Get vaccinated against the flu every year
- Follow good hygiene habits such as frequent handwashing, not sharing eating or drinking utensils, coughing or sneezing into your elbow instead of hands, and using hand sanitizer when necessary
- Breastmilk provides infants with antibodies useful in fighting off ear infections, so if its possible, breastfeed your baby for at least six months; if you bottle feed, make sure your baby is in an upright position and dont leave bottles in the crib with your baby
- When you go swimming, wear ear plugs to prevent water from entering your ears
- Discuss vaccinations with your doctor that may prevent ear infections, such as pneumococcal and other bacterial vaccines.
Antibiotics often have side effects and other risks, so Doctors try to hold off on prescribing antibiotics because ear infections often heal on their own. If the person is suffering with pain from the ear infection, their doctor may prescribe medication to treat the pain for the first one or two days, or instruct the sufferer to use aspirin or acetaminophen.
Tinnitus Cintrol Cure Treatment
Many people be afflicted by tinnitus for the rest in their lives with out ever knowing that theres an answer.
The sheer prospect of spending anything of your life surrounded by noise can be terrifying, but dont hand over hope. Tinnitus is characterised by the presence of ringing or buzzing sounds that are only audible to the individual that has the situation. Tinnitus Cintrol Cure Treatment Tinnitus is characterised by the presence of ringing or buzzing sounds that are only audible to the individual that has the situation. The fact is that stress is a traditional part of regularly occurring life; even though, you have to take steps to bypass normal, ordinary tensions from fitting chronic stress.
Causes Of Ear Infections In Children
Middle ear infections can happen to anyone who gets an upper respiratory infection. However, young children and infants are much more susceptible to middle ear infections for several reasons.
First, the immune system in children is still developing, and often has a harder time fighting off respiratory infections than the immune system of adolescents and adults. Second, children’s bodies are also still developing, and their immature Eustachian tubes dont stay open as well to ventilate the middle ear space. Third, children’s Eustachian tubes are positioned more horizontally than adults, and as a result dont drain as well into the throat.
Also Check: What Does It Mean When Tinnitus Gets Louder
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:
- Cerumen impaction
- Otitis externa: Inflammation of the external auditory canal, also called swimmers ear.
- Cholesteatoma: A mass of horn-shaped squamous cell epithelium and cholesterol in the middle ear, usually resulting from chronic otitis media.
- Otosclerosis: This is a disease of the otic capsule in the ear, which is more prevalent in adults and characterized by formation of soft, vascular bone leading to progressive conductive hearing loss. It occurs due to fixation of the stapes . Sensorineural hearing loss may result because of involvement of the cochlear duct.
- Trauma: A trauma to the ear or head may cause temporary or permanent hearing loss.
After I Get An Ear Infection Will I Get My Hearing Back
An ear infection is the well-known name, but its medically called otitis media or AOM. These ear infections can affect children as well as adults, especially after a sinus infection or a cold. You can even get an ear infection from a bad tooth.
How long will loss of hearing persist after having an infection of the middle ear? To come up with a complete answer can be rather complex. There are a lot of things happening with ear infections. To understand the risks, you should learn more about the damage these infections can cause and how they impact hearing.
Recommended Reading: How To Pair Hearing Aids To Iphone
Will My Hearing Go Back To Normal
Typically when the infections are treated promptly hearing will be restored to normal or close to normal. If, however, there is permanent auditory impairment the treatment is auditory aids. Thankfully, this technology has come a long way over the past few decades, and while it wont fully restore your hearing, these aids give you back a great deal of your hearing and make it easier to handle normal everyday living. Unlike glasses, which let you see immediately, auditory aids can take time to get used to while your brain remembers how to process sounds that is has been missing, so be patient! Let yourself adjust to auditory aids, because it will help you to understand people more effectively than if you didnt use the hearing aids. Work with your audiologist to make each situation work for you.
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 .Suspect hearing loss if one is unable to understand certain words and speaks louder than normal.
Boston Medical Center is a 514-bed academic medical center located in Boston’s historic South End, providing medical care for infants, children, teens and adults.
One Boston Medical Center Place Boston, MA 02118
Recommended Reading: What Size Battery For Phonak Hearing Aid
About Viral Infections And Hearing Loss
Hearing loss after viral infection â also called sudden sensorineural hearing loss â is a perplexing problem that medical science has still not completely solved. A link between viral infection and sudden hearing loss has long been suspected, although the factors that lead to hearing loss after viral infection arenât well-defined.
The hearing loss that occurs after viral infection is often sudden in onset, with many patients reporting that they awaken with hearing loss, or realize that they cannot hear when they try to use a telephone, listen to music, or perform another hearing-related task.
Alternatively, a patient may loss their hearing progressively over time. Either one or both ears may be affected, but bilateral hearing loss is relatively rare.
What Causes Hearing Loss After Ear Infection
In cases of an ear infection, the inflammation blocks the sound from passing through the ear canal from the middle ear into the inner ear. In this case, this hearing loss is known as a conductive hearing loss. The sounds are often heard as indistinctive and muffed.;The probability of an ear infection to cause hearing loss will depend on;the severity, frequency, and type of the ear infection.
The ear infection can affect all the three parts of the ear: the outer ear, the middle;ear, and the inner ear.
1. Otitis Externa
Otitis externa is an infection of the outer ear canal. In cases when the infection and inflammation of the outer ear occur, the swelling and the buildup of pus;will stop the sounds from moving from the outer ear to the middle ear, resulting in hearing problems. Once the infection is treated or once the wax is cleared, the hearing will usually return to normality.
Otitis media is an infection of the middle ear. Once the infection of the middle ear is treated, the hearing will return to normality. However, if the infection is not diagnosed and treated on time, the swelling and the collection of pus can lead to permanent and irreversible damage of the middle;ear structures. If the infection of the middle ear persists, antibiotic treatment is necessary.
3. Viral Infection of the Cochlea
Note: You can never predict a hearing loss after ear infection, so diagnosis and treatment on time are very important.
Read Also: How Do Hearing Aids Go In
What Are The Symptoms Of Otitis Media
Symptoms of ear infection include:
- Ear pain: This symptom is obvious in older children and adults. In infants too young to speak, look for signs of pain like rubbing or tugging ears, crying more than usual, trouble sleeping, acting fussy/irritable.
- Loss of appetite: This may be most noticeable in young children, especially during bottle feedings. Pressure in the middle ear changes as the child swallows, causing more pain and less desire to eat.
- Irritability: Any kind of continuing pain may cause irritability.
- Poor sleep: Pain may be worse when the child is lying down because the pressure in the ear may worsen.
- Fever: Ear infections can cause temperatures from 100° F up to 104° F. Some 50% of children will have a fever with their ear infection.
- Drainage from the ear: Yellow, brown, or white fluid that is not earwax may seep from the ear. This may mean that the eardrum has ruptured .
- Trouble hearing: Bones of the middle ear connect to the nerves that send electrical signals to the brain. Fluid behind the eardrums slows down movement of these electrical signals through the inner ear bones.
The Hearing Loss Last After Ear Infection
Usually, many diseases take one or two days to recover. If it takes more than one or two days then its a time to consult a specialist. If diseases not treated very well or left untreated it may lead to major health diseases. Fluid formation in the middle ear called otitis media with effusion. After the infection in the middle ear, fluid may remain in the ear after clearance of infection and cause some major hearing Impairment if it persists for weeks or months.
Children with a middle ear infection can suffer from some degree of hearing loss. Normal deafness with fluid in ear occurs when hearing Impairment degree is 24 decibels. 45 decibels hearing loss occur when your ear is infected with thicker fluid buildup.
If your child cant understand your speech or speak loudly that he or she may be affected by hearing Impairment.
As your children cannot express verbally try to notice these things in your child such as fever, pulling the ears or scratching the ears, late response to sounds, flowing of fluid.
For adults and other older children`s try to notice these symptoms. Such as continuing earache, ;vomiting or simple nausea, dizziness, difficulty in understanding the conversations, pressure in ears.
Hearing loss caused by an ear infection is basically for a short period of time and reduces after the proper treatment. If you have an ear infection then your specialist suggests you some medicine or antibiotics which will reverse back your hearing Impairment.
Don’t Miss: How To Relieve Clogged Ear From Ear Infection
Essential Oils For Ear Infections
Well-known antiseptics lavender and tea tree oils can help to cope with inflammation and pain in the ears. The best way to prepare a rubbing agent is to mix these essential oils with olive oil.
Heres a simple aromatherapy recipe for the ears: Mix 3 drops of lavender oil, 3 drops of tea tree oil, 6 drops of chamomile oil with a tablespoon of olive oil. This is a recipe for adults. Children need a different dosage of oils.
How Do Ear Infections Affect Hearing
The build-up of fluid in the middle ear cavity puts pressure on the eardrum and middle ear bones; this restricts their normal movement, and they can no longer transmit sound normally, which results in hearing loss.
Ear infections often resolve themselves without medical intervention, but sometimes medical help is needed to treat an ear infection. Although rare, chronic ear infections can, over time, damage the eardrum, the bones of the middle ear, or the hearing nerve, which can result in permanent hearing loss.
Recommended Reading: Can You Wear A Hearing Aid In Just One Ear
Differential Diagnosis And Treatment Of Hearing Loss
JON E. ISAACSON, M.D., and NEIL M. VORA, M.D., Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, Pennsylvania
Am Fam Physician.;2003;Sep;15;68:1125-1132.
Hearing loss is a common problem that can occur at any age and makes verbal communication difficult. The ear is divided anatomically into three sections , and pathology contributing to hearing loss may strike one or more sections. Hearing loss can be categorized as conductive, sensorineural, or both. Leading causes of conductive hearing loss include cerumen impaction, otitis media, and otosclerosis. Leading causes of sensorineural hearing loss include inherited disorders, noise exposure, and presbycusis. An understanding of the indications for medical management, surgical treatment, and amplification can help the family physician provide more effective care for these patients.
More than 28 million Americans have some degree of hearing impairment. The differential diagnosis of hearing loss can be simplified by considering the three major categories of loss. Conductive hearing loss occurs when sound conduction is impeded through the external ear, the middle ear, or both. Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when there is a problem within the cochlea or the neural pathway to the auditory cortex. Mixed hearing loss is concomitant conductive and sensorineural loss.
Exactly What Is Otitis Media
To put it simply, otitis media is an infection of the middle ear. Bacteria is the most common cause, but it might be caused by any type of micro-organism.
Ear infections are identified by where they manifest in the ear. Otitis externa, otherwise known as swimmers ear, is an infection of the pinna or outer ear. The term labyrinthitis describes an infection of the cochlea or inner ear.
The middle ear consists of the area behind the eardrum but in front of the cochlea. The membranes of the inner ear are vibrated by three very small bones called ossicles which are located in this area. The eardrum can actually break due to the pressure from this sort of infection, which is likely to be very painful. This pressure is not only painful, it also causes hearing loss. The infectious material accumulates and finally blocks the ear canal enough to hinder the movement of sound waves.
The symptoms of a middle ear infection in an adult include:
- Leakage from the ear
- Pain in the ear
For the majority of people, hearing comes back over time. Hearing will come back after the pressure dissipates allowing the ear canal to open up. This will only happen when the infection is resolved. Sometimes there are complications, however.
You May Like: How To Unpop Ears From Water
Will I Get My Hearing Back After An Ear Infection
An ear infection is the typical name, but its medically called otitis media or AOM. Ear infections are especially common after a sinus infection or cold and they not only affect children but adults too. You can even get an ear infection if you have a bad tooth.
Just how long will hearing loss last after an infection of the middle ear? The answer to this question might be more complex than you might think. There are a lot of things going on with ear infections. To understand the potential risks, you should learn more about the injury these infections can cause and how they affect hearing.
What Should I Expect If I Or My Child Has An Ear Infection
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.
You May Like: How Much Is Hearing Aid In Nigeria
How Does Ear Infection Lead To Hearing Loss
The ear is made up of three parts;;outer ear, middle ear and the inner ear. All three of these parts, at the same time or separately, can become infected. Infections/inflammations of the outer ear are often called the Swimmers Ear.
More often, what is called an ear infection is a middle ear infection often known as Otitis Media. The middle ear begins with the eardrum and includes your bodys three smallest bones , stapes , and malleus ). The middle ear stops at the oval window that indicates the beginning of the inner ear where the hearing nerves begin.
Recommended: Water In The Ear? Simple Ways To Get It Out
The middle ear needs air in order to;work;properly. It obtains this;air from the Eustachian tube extending from the middle ear to the back of the mouth. You re feeling the Eustachian tube in action when you yawn and your ears pop.
If due to swelling from an infection or allergy, the Eustachian tube becomes swollen shut, the middle ear may fill up;with fluid. If the middle ear becomes filled with fluid it can trigger hearing problems. If the fluid gets infected you will feel a lot of pain inside your ear.
If you get an inner ear infection for some reason, this can be very serious, as it can permanently cause;hearing loss and damage to your sense of;balance. Most people dont realize that the;organs of balance ;are connected to our inner ears.
- Neisseria meningitidis
- Haemophilus influenzae
About Middle Ear Infections
Otitis media is an infection of the middle ear that causes inflammation and a build-up of fluid behind the eardrum.
Anyone can develop a middle ear infection but infants between six and 15 months old are most commonly affected.
It’s estimated that around one in every four children experience at least one middle ear infection by the time they’re 10 years old.
Don’t Miss: How To Clean Out Ears Properly
When Should I Return To My Healthcare Provider For A Follow
Your healthcare provider will let you know when you need to return for a follow-up visit. At that visit, you or your childs eardrum will be examined to be certain that the infection is going away. Your healthcare provider may also want to test you or your child’s hearing.
Follow-up exams are very important, especially if the infection has caused a hole in the eardrum.
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 .
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.
You May Like: Can A Tooth Infection Cause Tinnitus
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.
Ear Drops For Ear Pain
When ear pain occurs, it is rather difficult to independently establish an accurate diagnosis and choose ear drops suitable for treatment. Only an otolaryngologist can quickly distinguish the symptoms of different diseases: after examination using professional equipment.
The choice of drops suitable for the treatment of a specific ear disease or closely located organs depends on what exactly caused the pathology. I
f the causative agent is a fungal infection, the doctor prescribes supplements that contain a component which destroys the fungal pathogenic microflora. By the same principle, a choice is made for inflammations of any other nature.
Otolaryngologists prescribe drops of one of four main groups with antibiotics, antifungal, anti-inflammatory pain relievers, or agents that help remove sulfur plugs. Also in the pharmacy you can always buy combined action supplements.
Also Check: Does Medicare Pay For Hearing Aids For Seniors
Devices To Help With Hearing Loss
Your doctor or specialist may suggest you get a hearing aid. Hearing aids are electronic, battery-run devices that make sounds louder. There are many types of hearing aids. Before buying a hearing aid, find out if your health insurance will cover the cost. Also, ask if you can have a trial period so you can make sure the device is right for you. An audiologist or hearing aid specialist will show you how to use your hearing aid.
Assistive-listening devices, mobile apps, alerting devices, and cochlear implants can help some people with hearing loss. Cochlear implants are electronic devices for people with severe hearing loss. They dont work for all types of hearing loss. Alert systems can work with doorbells, smoke detectors, and alarm clocks to send you visual signals or vibrations. For example, a flashing light can let you know someone is at the door or the phone is ringing. Some people rely on the vibration setting on their cell phones to alert them to calls.
Over-the-counter hearing aids are a new category of regulated hearing devices that adults with mild-to-moderate hearing loss will be able to buy without a prescription. OTC hearing aids will make certain sounds louder to help people with hearing loss listen, communicate, and take part more fully in daily activities. OTC hearing aids are expected to become available in stores and online in the next few years.
Hearing And Cognitive Health
Studies have shown that older adults with hearing loss have a greater risk of developing dementia than older adults with normal hearing. Cognitive abilities decline faster in older adults with hearing loss than in older adults with normal hearing. Treating hearing problems may be important for cognitive health. See Whats the Connection Between Hearing and Cognitive Health?
Also Check: Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Hearing Aid Loss
What Can You Do To Counter This Permanent Hearing Loss
First and foremost, see a doctor if you believe that you have an ear infection. The sooner you get treatment, the better. Always have chronic ear infection examined by a doctor. The more severe the infections you have, the more harm they will cause. Finally, take steps to lessen colds, allergies, and sinus infections because that is where ear infections normally start. Its time to give up smoking because it causes chronic respiratory issues which will, in turn, lead to ear infections.
If you are still having trouble hearing after having an ear infection, see a doctor. It could be possible that you have some damage, but that is not the only thing that can cause conductive hearing loss. If it turns out its permanent, hearing aids will help you hear once again. To get more info about hearing aids, schedule an appointment with a hearing specialist.