How Ear Infections Can Cause Hearing Loss

How Ear Infections Can Cause Hearing Loss

Do you or your child have frequent or severe ear infections? Are you concerned that ear infections can lead to hearing loss? Find out when you should be worried about potential loss of hearing due to ear infections, and what can be done to reduce the frequency and severity of such infections. 

SLENT, or South Louisiana Ear, Nose, Throat & Facial Plastics, has locations in Mandeville, Hammond, and Slidell, Louisiana. Our experienced otolaryngology specialists can help you determine the cause of ear infections and identify risks to your hearing.

Types of ear infections

Most ear infections start in the middle ear, and are called otitis media. There are two main types:

1. Acute

If the eustachian tube that connects the back of the throat to the middle of the ear becomes inflamed, fluid gets trapped and can’t drain normally. Infection in the fluid can cause pain, swelling, and temporary hearing impairment due to blockage of the tube.

2. Effusive

Even after an infection has cleared up, there could be fluid or mucus left behind in the tube, causing minor blockage and hearing impairment that lasts until the tube drains fully.

Complications of ear infections

There are two less common forms of otitis media that can be more serious. These are more often seen in children with repeated ear infections, but may also be present in adults:

Chronic suppurative

Patients who have acute otitis media can end up with complications. If the eardrum is perforated, a persistent discharge from the middle ear can cause hearing loss that isn’t easily remedied.  


Another complication of a prolonged ear infection is complete collapse of the eardrum. The insides of the eardrum adhere to one another and to the middle ear’s structures and wall, causing hearing loss that may be profound. 

Other types of ear infections that increase risk of hearing loss

There are many childhood diseases that can cause hearing loss as the infection settles in the sinuses or throat and affects the ears. These include:

If you or your child have been vaccinated, you’re likely to be protected against most of these illnesses. If you or your child have had one of these illnesses or have suffered from repeated, acute, or prolonged ear infections and you think hearing loss has occurred, schedule a consultation with the experts at SLENT by calling the location closest to you, or visit the contact page for more information.  

You Might Also Enjoy...

Are There Ways to Prevent Sinusitis?

If your sinusitis makes you sneeze, sniffle, and suffer through every season, it might be time to consider preventative measures. You can’t prevent every case, but you can lower your risk.

Is Sleep Apnea Curable?

There are many factors that contribute to sleep apnea, and no cure covers them all. A specialist can evaluate your case and determine how to proceed.

When to Consider a Botox® Touch-up

Botox® injections last up to four months, but individual results often vary. Here are some tips to help you time your touch-ups for streamlined, consistent results.

5 Popular Hair Restoration Treatments

Is your hair thinning, your hairline receding, and your self-confidence crumbling? You’re not alone. Fortunately, hair restoration can help give you back a healthy self-image.

5 Reasons to Consider a Face Lift

Maybe you’ve been spending money on injectables for years, or you’ve never thought about cosmetic surgery before. Here are five reasons a face lift might be right for you.

Should I Have My Tonsils Removed?

Not everyone gets their tonsils removed as children, and tonsillitis can strike at any age. Here’s when to consider a tonsillectomy as a solution to chronic tonsillitis or throat infections.