Will an Ear Infection Cause Hearing Loss?

January 22, 2024

Ear infections are a frequent issue among children. In fact, statistics show that by age three, 83 percent of children will have experienced an ear infection. It’s a major reason for pediatric visits to healthcare providers.

If your child has an ear infection but delay medical attention, there could be significant consequences. Our team at AFC Urgent Care Chattanooga is here to help you understand more about the risks and consequences of untreated ear infections.

How Can I Know If My Child Has an Ear Infection?

To determine if your child has an ear infection, watch for a number of tell-tale signs. Ear discomfort is a typical symptom, which might be shown by your child showing signs of pain or, if they are too young to verbalize it, by pulling or rubbing at their ears. You might also notice your child is more irritable or fussy than usual. Keep an eye out for other indicators like fever, trouble sleeping, or ear discharge, as these can be additional hints of an ear infection. Sometimes, children might also have trouble hearing.

Common Signs of Ear Infections Among Children

  • Ear pain, especially when lying down
  • Tugging or pulling at an ear
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Crying more than usual
  • Fussiness
  • Trouble hearing or responding to sounds
  • Loss of balance
  • Fever of 100 F or higher
  • Drainage of fluid from the ear
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite

Is There a Risk of Long-Term Health Issues from Ear Infections?

Typically, isolated instances of ear infections do not pose a threat to long-term health issues, but when ear infections become a frequent occurrence, the risk increases. If your child exhibits any of the symptoms mentioned above, it is critical to promptly visit your local AFC clinic for medical attention.

Serious Health Complications Caused By Frequent Ear Infections

  • Diminished hearing. Repeated ear infections can result in a build-up of fluid in the middle ear, potentially leading to more serious hearing impairment. Permanent hearing loss can ensue if there’s any lasting injury to the eardrum or the structures within the middle ear.
  • Delays in speech or development. Infants and young children who suffer from temporary or enduring hearing loss might have setbacks in developing speech, social, and other developmental abilities.
  • Eardrum rupture. While most ruptures of the eardrum heal on their own within three days, some instances might require surgical intervention.

Our AFC Urgent Care Chattanooga team is here to help with your or your child’s ear infection, so don’t hesitate to visit or call our clinic today!

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