Although one of the most common reasons for hearing loss is the natural aging process, there are many other reasons an individual may experience hearing loss — including ear infections. Ear infections may not seem like a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but depending on the severity of the condition, you may find yourself with temporary (or permanent!) hearing loss.
Follow along as El Dorado Hearing talks through the various types of ear infections, signs of an ear infection, and how they can lead to hearing loss.
Types of Ear Infection
When dealing with an ear infection, most people refer to it as an ear infection. However, there are a few different types of conditions that they may be experiencing. Here are a few of the most common types of infections of the ear.
- Otitis Externa – This refers to an infection that is located outside of the ear canal. An example of this is swimmer’s ear, where water in the ear causes inflammation, making it difficult for sound to move throughout the ear canal. In most cases, this type of ear infection clears once the internal swelling goes down.
- Otitis Media – When an individual is suffering from a cold or allergies, they may experience an infection of the middle of the ear. The bacteria and viruses in their system cause an infection behind the eardrum. If this type of ear infection goes untreated, the individual may experience permanent hearing loss.
- Otitis Media With Effusion – Due to a buildup of fluid in the ear, the individual may experience temporary hearing loss. If this fluid becomes infected, they may have a burst eardrum.
- Viral Infections – The ear relies on the cochlea to hear properly. If the cochlea becomes infected and isn’t treated immediately, you may be dealing with permanent hearing loss.
Complications From Ear Infections
While most ear infections clear up on their own or require a short course of antibiotics, more severe cases may leave you or a loved one dealing with complications. Ear infections increase the chances of the following complications:
- Hearing Loss – As mentioned, certain types of ear infections can result in permanent hearing loss if it isn’t cleared up completely and quickly. If you experience hearing loss following an ear infection, it’s essential to get tested to determine if you have temporary hearing loss (which is quite common) or if there is permanent damage to the eardrum.
- Speech Delays – If a child experiences frequent ear infections during their developmental years, they may have speech development delays. Because they may have difficulty hearing from temporary hearing loss, it will be more difficult for them to pick up verbal communication.
- Burst Eardrum – At its worst, an ear infection can cause an eardrum to burst and require the individual to undergo surgery to repair it. In other cases, they may find themselves with permanent hearing loss.
These are just a few complications that a person may experience when dealing with an ear infection.
Schedule an Appointment for a Hearing Evaluation
If you recently had an ear infection and are experiencing diminished hearing, you must undergo a hearing evaluation to determine the extent of the damage you may be facing. Should the hearing test conclude that you have hearing loss, our team can help you navigate the various treatment options to restore your hearing.
One of the most effective hearing loss treatments is hearing aids. Hearing aids are available in many sizes, styles, and technologies, allowing individuals to find a pair that meets their specific needs. Our hearing specialists are highly experienced and offer an in-depth hearing assessment to evaluate whether you have hearing loss and the extent to which the loss affects you.
We strive to make our hearing offices comfortable where everyone feels welcome. We’ll help you find the proper hearing aids to restore your hearing. For personalized hearing testing in Tucson, AZ, make El Dorado Hearing of Tucson first on your list.
If you are ready to regain control of your hearing, visit us at one of our hearing clinics. Contact us today to set up an appointment with one of our caring and expert hearing specialists!