It is likely that for most of us, at some point in our lives, we’ve experienced an ear infection. With medication and medical care, these ear infections are a temporary inconvenience to our daily life. However, some people are not as lucky. For some, chronic ear infections could lead to hearing loss
Assorted Ear Infection
Not every ear infection will cause hearing loss, but there is no infection that the ear can get that can occur under certain circumstances; if not treated properly with medical help, it can lead to hearing loss.
There are three parts of the ear: the outer ear, the middle ear, and the inner ear. Each part of the ear, from most sensitive to least sensitive are as listed: first, the outer ear, then the middle ear; finally, the most susceptible of all is the inner ear. The outer ear can receive infections by being filled with fluids and swelling, which caused the inner ear unable to process sound, but after the liquid from the outer ear dissipates normal hearing returns. These outer ear infections are often called “swimmer’s ear,” which are often suffered by swimmers who spend much time in the water,
Middle Ear Infection
The infections that are common to the middle ear result in more analytical results and can lead to irreversible loss of hearing if not treated correctly. This kind of disease may result in pus and swelling in the middle ear, which results in the sound not being able to be processed by the inner ear’s cochlea. Because the middle ear is yet a distance from the internal ear, infections here do not usually result in irreversible loss of hearing. Doctors advise that infections and any sickness to the ear be treated or examined by a family, general practitioner, or auditory expert. If the disease gets in the ear, and it is not addressed in the middle ear, a higher risk of having permanent loss of hearing than when it takes place in the outer ear.
Infection Behind the Eardrum
Some ear infections can creep in behind the eardrum, due to fluid that collects in the eardrum itself. The water dissipates typically on its own, but if allowed to remain, there is a possibility that the eardrum will burst. This is why infections in the ear, no matter what part, ought to be relieved and healed as soon as possible by medical observation if possible.
Infection of the Cochlea
The last kind of infection of the ear takes place in the most sensitive part of the ear, which is the cochlea. The diseases hear they are the most critical since they are touching the very central part of the sense of hearing. The infections caused here have the same cause as the bacteria found in the common cold. However, the prevailing of this bacteria in the inner ear has a different result than the common cold and can be the cause of irreversible loss of hearing if not treated properly and as soon as possible.
Possible Irreversible Hearing Loss
If these bacteria prevail for some time in the inner ear without proper medical attention, there is a 33% equal chance of one of the three states to result from that place: the total return of hearing, partial replacement of discussion, or permanent hearing loss. Doctors suggest, regardless of age, that once bacteria are slightly experienced as being in the inner ear that medical attention should be sought to avoid irreversible hearing loss.
Seeking Treatment for Your Hearing Health
For many adults, ear infections are not common. Ear infections are common among children because their Eustachian tubes are still developing. Smaller Eustachian tubes are more susceptible to blockage which could lead to infection. Nevertheless, regardless of age, it is important to seek medical care from a provider if an ear infection is present.
When it comes to hearing loss, Better Hearing in Seattle is here to help. We provide comprehensive hearing health services and if you’ve noticed a change in your hearing, we encourage you to visit us for a hearing test.