Ear infections are a common condition, especially in children. Typical symptoms include ear pain, fever and ear drainage. Sometimes hearing loss can occur as well.
Hearing Loss From Ear Infections Is Usually Temporary
Thankfully, hearing loss caused by an ear infection is almost always temporary. It occurs when fluid buildup from the infection prevents sound from getting through the outer ear. Your hearing should return to normal as the infection clears.
Can Ear Infections Cause Permanent Hearing Loss?
While hearing loss from a single infection is temporary, research has indicated that chronic ear infections may increase your risk of developing sensorineural hearing loss. This is a permanent type of hearing loss is permanent that occurs due to damage to the inner ear or auditory nerve.
One study examining patients who suffered from chronic ear infections found that a “highly significant association was found between the presence of chronic otitis media and sensorineural hearing loss.”
An additional descriptive cross-sectional study looked at data from people who suffered from chronic suppurative otitis media, which is an ongoing ear infection accompanied by a perforated eardrum. Researchers found that sensorineural hearing loss was reported in 52% of patients. The frequency of hearing loss was also found to increase the longer the infection lasted.
Treating Ear Infections
The occasional ear infection will often clear up by itself in a few days. However, if symptoms get worse or last longer than three days or if you or your child is experiencing a high fever, hearing loss, or fluid coming out of the ear you should make an appointment with a doctor.
Antibiotics may be a necessary course of action. In cases where your child is experiencing frequent or chronic ear infections, their doctor may recommend ear tubes.
Treating Permanent Hearing Loss
If you’ve noticed you’re having trouble hearing during Zoom meetings or when out to dinner at The Grove Kitchen & Gardens, make an appointment for a hearing test. Your audiologist will be able to determine the cause and severity of your hearing loss.
If your hearing loss is permanent, they will likely recommend hearing aids. They will work with you to find the right style and fit to meet your hearing needs and keep you connected to the world around you.
For more information or to schedule an appointment to get your hearing checked call SoundLogic today.