Can Middle Ear Infections Cause Permanent Hearing Loss?

What is a Middle Ear Infection?

Another term it can be referred to is Otitis Media. It’s a common occurrence in childhood and can also happen in adulthood. Essentially, it’s a build of fluid in the air-filled space behind the ear drum and results in inflammation.

What are the symptoms of Middle Ear Infection?

Usually for younger children, they experience:

  • Fever
  • Constant scratching or pulling at the ears
  • Slower to respond to voices and other sounds
  • Irritability
  • Secretions from the ear

For older children, adolescents and adults, these symptoms are common:

  • Constant earache
  • Pressure in the ears
  • Difficulty understanding speech or engaging in conversation
  • Feelings of dizziness or imbalance
  • Vomiting or general nausea

Can It Cause a Hearing Loss?

Yes. It can cause a temporary hearing loss due to the fluid behind the ear drum. The fluid prevents from sounds being heard accurately and sometimes sounds muffled or under water. Chronis otitis media can cause a more long- term conductive hearing loss or damage in the middle ear since its occurrence is very often. Infants/toddlers who suffer from chronic otitis media should seek medical attention as it can hinder crucial learning periods for speech & language development.

If you have further questions, please call Triangle Hearing Services at 919 636 3006 in Cary, NC or 919 295 4655 in Knightdale, NC.