Ear Infections & Hearing Loss

Ear Infections & Hearing Loss

In Hearing Health by Nikki DeGeorge Weaver, Au.D.

Nikki DeGeorge Weaver, Au.D.

Latest posts by Nikki DeGeorge Weaver, Au.D. (see all)

An ear infection affects the middle ear and may be caused by a virus or bacteria. It is dangerous and causes fluid buildup in internal space of the ear and cause inflammation. The middle ear is a vital part because it has vibrating bones that are responsible for converting sound into sensible signals of the brain. There some situation that increases ear infections such as bacteria that resist antibiotics and passive smoking because smoke may get to the middle ear that is filled with air. However, vaccination against flu is known to increase chances of increasing immunity against the infections.

They are either chronic or acute and very painful because excess fluid built up causes pressure on the eardrum. Chronic infections are considered more harmful because they may lead to permanent destruction to the middle ear. They are common in young children and most improve with time without treatment.

Common symptoms of ear infections

Children are at the risk of having these infections and they show several symptoms as discussed. They have sleeping difficulties due to the pain that they are expressing. This pain is caused by the inflammation in the middle ear. This inflammation affects the functionality of the middle ear. The pain in the middle ear increase when a child sleeps or lies down because the fluid filled in the middle ear is affected. Pain of course comes with discomfort that leads to the baby crying more than usual.

Crying is a sign that your child is experiencing pain or discomfort and this should be taken seriously by a guardian or parent. A parent may also observe a child constantly pulling and tugging their ears. The tugging and pulling is caused by the discomfort and pain that the child is experiencing. These signs affect each other because one symptom may lead to another. Headaches are also common when a child has this type of infection without forgetting lack of appetite. This type of infection may also lead to loss of balance to some people. Adults mostly experience pressure caused by the fluid buildup which also leads to pain.

Causes of Ear Infections

Allergic responses, colds, and flu are the common ways that these infections begin. The occurrence of a cold or flu leads to fluid built up in the Eustachian tubes found in the ears. This will also lead to inflammation of the both the throat and nasal passages. This is because the Eustachian tube is a connection between the back of the throat and the middle ear. Infections in this tube inhibit the main function of the tubes that is to drain secretions produced causing fluid buildup. Bacteria then affect these parts because of the fluid buildup. When the Eustachian tubes are fluid up with fluids, they are not able to regulate air pressure in the middle air. These types of infections mostly affect children because their Eustachian tubes are more horizontal and smaller. This increases their chances of collecting the fluid rather than draining it away.

The nasal cavity has pads called adenoids that are found at the back. These pads are usually larger in children than in adults. The larger the size the higher the chances of contracting an infection. The adenoids are supposed to be immune to bacteria and viruses that pass the viral cavity but this does not happen always. When the adenoids trap bacteria, they may get inflamed causing closing of the Eustachian tubes. This inflammation causes an infection to the middle ear and the Eustachian tubes.

Causes of hearing loss

If ear infections are not treated, they do run the risk of developing into a hearing loss. However, it is not common for this to occur. If it does, it is important to visit both your primary care physician and a hearing health specialist.

It is a common occurrence for someone to loss their ability to hear as they get older commonly known as presbycusis. Some medications such as some chemotherapy drug and large doses of aspirins have been known to cause hearing loss. Very loud noise such as explosions can cause this loss. Physical head injuries such as holes in the eardrum and tumors are also causes.

Symptoms include the need to increase radio volumes, difficulties in understanding words when there is background noise, often asking others to repeat or speak clearly and avoiding social some social setting. Seeking treatment for hearing loss brings significant benefits to one’s overall health and well-being, which is why hearing loss should be treated as soon as possible.

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