If your child is suddenly complaining that they have trouble hearing, one of the factors you should examine first is an ear infection. A middle ear infection arises when bacteria or a virus causes inflammation and fluid buildup behind the eardrum. It is also known as otitis media, and it can cause temporary hearing loss.
Below are what you need to know about the condition and its connection to temporary hearing loss.
The Most Common Type of Otitis Media
When the eustachian tube, which travels from the back of the throat to the middle of the ear, gets inflamed, it can trap fluid inside the tube. This results in acute otitis media. This fluid has the potential to become infected, causing pain and edema.
Even when the infection has cleaned up, fluid or mucus might build up inside the eustachian tube, causing hearing loss.
Less Common Types of Otitis Media
Chronic suppurative otitis media usually develops due to continuing acute otitis media complications. It’s marked by a continuous discharge from the middle ear produced by eardrum perforation. It frequently results in hearing loss, particularly in children.
Adhesive otitis media is caused by the eardrum collapsing and adhering to the structures and wall of the middle ear. It usually happens when the eustachian tube isn’t functioning properly for a long time.
Ear infections are considerably more common in newborns and early children than in adults because their eustachian tubes are narrower and fluid drains more slowly. Experts reveal that five out of every six children will have had at least one ear infection by the age of three.
Symptoms of an Ear Infection
Ear infections can be unpleasant and inconvenient. You may have one if you are experiencing discomfort and pressure in your ear.
However, newborns and toddlers frequently do not have the language to express their ear pain. Fortunately, some signs show if your child suffers from an ear infection. You may notice them pulling on their ear, which is a symptom of ear pain. It is one of the most common signs of an ear infection in young children.
Fever, fussiness or irritability, ear discharge, hearing problems, unsteadiness, inability to lie down properly, and diarrhea are other symptoms. Many of these symptoms are also markers of an ear infection in older children and adults.
Hearing Loss from an Ear Infection
Hearing loss caused by this type of infection is usually very transient. The fluid can persist for a long time. While the symptoms of otitis media normally go away within 48 to 72 hours, the fluid build-up in the middle ear can last up to three months. While the fluid is trapped, you may have difficulty hearing clearly.
While an ear infection does not immediately cause permanent hearing loss, a healthcare practitioner should still check any signs of compromised hearing. Addressing hearing loss among younger people is critical because infants and toddlers with chronic ear infections undergo periods of hearing loss during a critical learning phase for speech and language.
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