Ear Infection happens for a number of reasons. And most of the time, they aren’t usually causing a huge concern. It’s also not contagious, and they clear up without you doing anything and using over-the-counter medications such as antibiotics and ibuprofen.
At least 8 out of 10 children will encounter one or many ear infections before they reach their third birthday. In some cases, serious complications may happen. They are as follows:
If you notice that your ear infections seem to never fully heal or are constantly recurring, then that might lead to loss of hearing. Although most of the time, the hearing loss is just temporary, there is still a small risk of having a permanent hearing loss, about 2 out of 10,000 children with middle ear infection.
If your kids are just starting to learn how to speak, it’s going to be hard for them and troublesome if they temporarily or permanently lose their hearing. And it may be more difficult if two ears are affected. If they have a prolonged hearing loss, then that could lead to delays in your children’s speech.
Meningitis is a life-threatening infection that affects the surrounding membranes in the spinal cord and the brain. Adults and children (over the age of 2) can get meningitis and may exhibit flu-like symptoms such as nausea, headache, and fever.
In babies, they can become extremely tired, feel stiffness in the neck and body, and they may constantly cry for hours because of pain and discomfort. In worst-case scenarios, meningitis can lead to permanent brain damage. So it is crucial that when you see these symptoms, you see a doctor right away for them to recommend antibiotics through IV and hospitalization.
Mastoiditis is a bone infection located behind the ear. At first, it may begin as a mild infection and can progress into something serious. If your child has a recurring ear infection, then your child may be at risk of developing mastoiditis.
Some symptoms of mastoiditis include headache, swollen ear lobe, swollen or redness on the bone behind the ear. Now if the infection still continues to spread and after treatment mastoiditis still is present, then that might lead to more serious problems such as brain abscess, meningitis and hearing loss.
Ear infection can also lead to a ruptured eardrum or bursts because of the intense pressure buildup in the middle ear, resulting in a small hole. Naturally, about 90 percent of the ruptured eardrum heals itself in a few weeks.
Brain abscess happens when the pus (generated when there is infection) collects into the brain. When this occurs, you may experience variations of consciousness, headaches, vomiting, nausea.
If you want to make sure that the symptoms you have are related to brain abscess, then you need to seek your doctor’s advice so they can examine your brain and see if you have an increased pressure in the skull.
This is a very serious condition and considered an emergency. What’s great about this is the chances of survival have been improving for the last decades, from 33 percent to 70 percent.
You are likely to develop facial paralysis for one side of your face because of ear infection. This affects the facial nerve that is responsible for animating your face. This condition used to be 1 out of 50 middle ear infection cases, but now, it’s 1 out of 2,000 cases. It’s an emergency condition, but almost everyone can make a full recovery.
Ear infection isn’t really a serious concern and can clear itself on its own or with the help of antibiotics or painkillers. But when it keeps on recurring, especially in children, it can cause serious complications that may lead to temporary or permanent loss of hearing, meningitis, mastoiditis, brain abscess, ruptured eardrum, and facial paralysis. So before your ear infection gets worse, make sure that you seek immediate doctor’s advice.
Hear More Associates is the most trusted and the best hearing clinic in Rhode Island. If you believe that you are experiencing hearing loss, contact us and get tested today.