Ear Infections Lead to Hearing Damage
Hearing loss is generally thought to be an irreversible condition that can be a result of various factors. Age, physical trauma, genetic predisposition, exposure to unsafe noise, and ear infections are thought to be the most common causes of hearing loss.
Most types of hearing loss are sensorineural in nature, which has an adverse effect on the auditory nerve. However, ear infections may also cause hearing damage that is conductive in nature, which adversely affects the eardrum and delicate bones within the middle ear due to fluid accumulation.
The difference between sensorineural and conductive hearing loss is that conductive hearing damage generally results from a blockage within your middle ear, whereas sensorineural hearing loss affects the auditory nerve within the inner ear.
Conductive hearing loss (or otitis media as it is medically known) often results from simple causes such as excessive earwax accumulation, trapped fluid in the middle ear, or perforated ear drums. Most of the times conductive hearing loss is temporary in nature it and can be successfully treated.
Ear infections can often result in conductive hearing loss. Thankfully, these infections can easily be treated with the use of antibiotics. Generally speaking, once the infection clears up, your hearing will be restored. If you find that you have ear infections quite frequently, your doctor might place a tube in your eardrum in order to assist with the drainage of the excessive fluid.
In rare cases, even after several treatment attempts using antibiotics and other methods, frequent bouts of ear infections may result in permanent scarring within the tympanic membrane of your ear, resulting in tympanosclerosis. This may make a person resistant to normal modes of treatment for ear infections. In case your hearing does not return to normal after several treatment methods, your doctor may recommend that you visit a hearing care professional in order to get hearing aids.
No matter the cause, it is important never to neglect your hearing loss. If you feel even the slightest difficulty in hearing, make sure you get your hearing examined by an audiologist. Early identification and diagnosis is important in getting effective treatment methods for hearing loss. Hearing damage may become a permanent condition if ear infections are left untreated, so talk to your doctor about treating ear infections at an early stage to avoid permanent hearing damage.