Millions of people go to the doctor for an ear infection each year in the United States. Children and babies are more likely to get an ear infection than adults, but grownups can also suffer from an ear infection. Can you get hearing loss from an ear infection? There is more to it than meets the eye. Do you have an ear infection? If so, which of the following cases apply to you? Find out here; if you need to see a specialist, Clarity Audiology is here for you in Baltimore, MD.
How Ear Infections Happen
An ear infection is the inflammation of the inner or middle ear because of a bacteria or virus. In many cases, the pathogen will reach the ear through the Eustachian tube, an airway that connects the middle ear to the back of the throat. If you have a cough, cold, or upper respiratory infection, the germ could travel into the ear, causing inflammation.
Another way a germ could fester in the ear is through an external source. Swimmer’s ear, for example, is an outer ear infection in which contaminated water remains in the ear long enough to breed bacteria.
How Ear Infections Cause Hearing Loss
The inflammation that results from an ear infection could make it harder for the affected person to hear. Audiologists call a middle ear infection such as this otitis media. Meanwhile, the infection could even result in a ruptured eardrum. A leaking eardrum could cause an infection called chronic suppurative otitis media, and a collapsed eardrum could lead to adhesive otitis media.
Damage to the ear of any kind could result in hearing loss; your hearing could sound muffled, like you’re underwater, or echoey. Ultimately, hearing loss happens because of inflammation, excess fluid, a damaged eardrum, or a combination of these symptoms.
Hearing Loss Is Usually Temporary
The good news is that hearing loss from an ear infection is almost always temporary. Once the ear infection passes and the ear heals, normal hearing will return. Only in very rare cases will permanent hearing loss happen.
When to See a Doctor
If you or someone under your care has a sustained, high fever, hearing loss, pus from the ear, or such symptoms lasting longer than three days, it is time to see a doctor. Clarity Audiology is here for you in Baltimore, MD!
Trust the Experts at Clarity Audiology & Hearing Solutions
Need help with your hearing? Clarity Hearing can help. Clarity Audiology & Hearing Solutions is an independently owned and operated clinic that focuses on quality of care and personalized, friendly service to the surrounding areas of Ellicott City, Catonsville, Columbia. Our Doctors of Audiology are highly trained with advanced degrees and take the time to provide the personalized care and attention that you need and deserve. We provide advanced hearing aid options that are personally calibrated with cutting-edge digital technology to fit your hearing loss, your unique ear anatomy, and your individual listening needs.