Can hearing loss be Caused By an Ear Infection?
A variety of causes can contribute to hearing loss, including aging, injury, noise exposure, illness, and inheritance. The auditory nerve is affected by these conditions, resulting in sensorineural hearing loss, the most prevalent type of hearing loss. Did you realize, however, that an ear infection can also result in hearing loss? Conductive hearing loss is a type of hearing loss induced by an ear infection.
Fluid can build up in the middle ear due to infection, restricting the movement of the eardrum and the tiny bones that connect it.
Conductive Hearing Loss
Unlike sensorineural hearing loss, conductive hearing loss affects the outer or middle ear rather than the auditory nerve. In general, a blockage in the middle ear is the most common cause of conductive hearing loss. To convey sounds to your auditory nerve, the middle ear moves. Hearing loss can result from any blockage that prevents sounds from passing through the middle ear.
Take into consideration that conductive hearing loss can be caused by a build-up of earwax, fluid in the middle ear, or a puncture in the eardrum.
The medical word for an ear infection that affects the middle ear is Otitis Media. The infection can lead to a build-up of fluid in the eardrum, making it harder for the eardrum and the ossicular chain to communicate sounds to the auditory nerve.
Symptoms of a middle ear infection include the following:
- Drainage in the ears
- Pain in the ear
- Reduced hearing ability
Ear Infection Hearing Loss
Hearing loss caused by an ear infection is usually temporary and goes away once the infection is treated. Antibiotics may be prescribed by your doctor to treat your ear infection. Your hearing should return to normal if the medicine properly treats the illness. If you have a history of recurring ear infections, your doctor may place a tube in your eardrum to aid in the drainage of the fluid.
The pain and pressure that typically accompany an ear infection can be relieved by removing the fluid build-up, which can also prevent the eardrum from rupturing. If the fluid is not drained, the pressure can cause your eardrum to rupture.
Tympanosclerosis, or the scarring of the tympanic membrane, can be caused by a history of repeated ear infections resulting in a ruptured eardrum. A ruptured eardrum and tympanosclerosis impair the eardrum’s mobility and lower hearing acuity. If your hearing does not improve after treatment, your doctor and hearing professional may recommend hearing aids to address the unresolved issue.
Is it Possible for Ear Infections to Result in Permanent Deafness?
Ear infections in children and adults, for the most part, does not result in permanent damage. Typically, after medical treatment, all symptoms of hearing loss are eliminated. Any continued issues you have after treatment should be discussed with your doctor. Further treatment or an otolaryngology consultation may be required.
What Can You Do to Counter Permanent Hearing Loss?
If you think you might have an ear infection, you should consult a doctor right away. If you want to maintain stable hearing health, you shouldn’t delay. Always see a doctor if you have a chronic ear infection. More serious infections inflict more damage. Allergies, sinus infections, and colds are common causes of ear infections, so take precautions to avoid them.
Make sure to consult a doctor if you are still experiencing hearing problems following an ear infection. It is possible that you’ve sustained some damage, and the reason for the conductive hearing loss needs to be determined. If you have permanent hearing loss, hearing aids can essentially restore your hearing to near normal conditions. Schedule an appointment with a hearing specialist to learn more about hearing aids.
Contact us now to know the details!