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The middle ear is the space behind the eardrum, which is connected to the back of the throat by a passageway called the Eustachian tube.
Middle ear infections are the most common illness that brings children to a pediatrician and the most common cause of hearing loss in children.
Symptoms of otitis media usually improve within 48 to 72 hours, but the fluid that has built up in the middle ear may last for up to 3 months. Breastfeed your child because breastfeeding seems to offer some protection against otitis media. Avoid rooms with secondhand smoke, because environmental cigarette smoke may increase a child’s risk of ear infections. The treatment of a middle ear infection depends on how bad the symptoms are and what’s causing the infection. In cases of particularly severe infections or those that do not respond to treatment, a tube may need to be inserted through the eardrum.
Call your doctor if you or your older child complains of an earache or has trouble hearing. Nasal allergies, which are sometimes called allergic rhinitis , occur when you breathe in airborne allergens.
It is not uncommon for infants and toddlers to experience fluid in the middle ear or ear infections at some point during their early years.
The immature structure of a baby or toddler’s ear can make it more difficult for fluid to drain from the middle ear. This fluid does not always become the source of an actual infection, so the fluid can remain in the middle ear without causing the typical symptoms of an infection. Children first learn to speak by hearing, and the first three years of life are crucial to their language development skills. Ear infections in childhood are often more easily recognized and therefore more quickly treated, reducing long-term consequences on hearing and speech development. The first step is to have your child’s hearing tested and ears examined if you suspect fluid in the ear or another cause of hearing loss might be the cause of your child’s speech delays. Once the hearing issues have been diagnosed, work with your pediatrician to see what kinds of speech therapies can be helpful for your child. Perforated eardrum is a condition that causes the rupturing of the eardrum usually due to an infection or maybe a loud noise and several other reasons that causes intense impact on your ears. Even flying with a severe cold could contribute to perforated eardrum hearing loss problems and that is why it is not advised to fly when you have a bad physical condition such as a cold. There are several treatment for perforated eardrum and that is only required if your situations worsen, that is in case you start to feel hearing loss and such related conditions. Extreme conditions or ear infection symptoms require the perforated eardrum surgery and the success of course depends on the level of perforation that has grown over the years. Sometimes, these perforations are induced in the ear during a surgical operation inside an ear that was done previously for a different reason. Painful ear infections are a rite of passage for children—by the age of five, nearly every child has experienced at least one episode. Ear tubes are tiny cylinders placed through the ear drum (tympanic membrane) to allow air into the middle ear. These tubes can be made out of plastic, metal, or Teflon and may have a coating intended to reduce the possibility of infection.
Ear tubes are often recommended when a person experiences repeated middle ear infection (acute otitis media) or has hearing loss caused by the persistent presence of middle ear fluid (otitis media with effusion).
Each year, more than half a million ear tube surgeries are performed on children, making it the most common childhood surgery performed with anesthesia.
Sometimes the otolaryngologist will recommend removal of the adenoid tissue (lymph tissue located in the upper airway behind the nose) when ear tubes are placed.
After surgery, the patient is monitored in the recovery room and will usually go home within an hour if no complications occur. Hearing loss caused by the presence of middle ear fluid is immediately resolved by surgery.
The otolaryngologist will provide specific postoperative instructions, including when to seek immediate attention and to set follow-up appointments. To avoid the possibility of bacteria entering the middle ear through the ventilation tube, physicians may recommend keeping ears dry by using ear plugs or other water-tight devices during bathing, swimming, and water activities. Consultation with an otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat specialist) may be warranted if you or your child has experienced repeated or severe ear infections, ear infections that are not resolved with antibiotics, hearing loss due to fluid in the middle ear, barotrauma, or have an anatomic abnormality that inhibits drainage of the middle ear. Myringotomy with insertion of ear tubes is an extremely common and safe procedure with minimal complications. Perforation—This can happen when a tube comes out or a long-term tube is removed and the hole in the tympanic membrane (ear drum) does not close. Scarring—Any irritation of the ear drum (recurrent ear infections), including repeated insertion of ear tubes, can cause scarring called tympanosclerosis or myringosclerosis.


Ear tubes come out too early or stay in too long—If an ear tube expels from the ear drum too soon (which is unpredictable), fluid may return and repeat surgery may be needed. Ear infections occur behind the ear drum in the middle ear space and cause a conductive hearing loss. Getting Technical with Ear Infection and Hearing Loss:  How Exactly Sound is blocked when an ear infection causes fluid buildup?
The ear drum vibrates in response, which sets the middle ear bones (malleus, incus, and stapes) into motion.
The stapes press against a window in the cochlea which causes stimulation of hair cells sending a signal up the auditory nerve and into the brain to process the sound. When fluid or infection is present in the middle ear, sound cannot appropriately travel through the system causing the conductive hearing loss. A conductive hearing loss means the inner ear (cochlea and nerve of hearing) are functioning normally and the hearing loss is a result of the infection sitting in the middle ear space.
Hearing back to normal:  Once the fluid and infection are cleared out, hearing will more than likely return to normal. Middle ear infections, also called otitis media, can occur when congestion from an allergy or cold blocks the Eustachian tube. Middle ear infections can also cause a hole (perforation) in the eardrum or spread to nearby areas, such as the mastoid bone. The increased exposure to other infected children increases your child’s chances of getting infected.
Inside the middle ear, three tiny bones (ossicles) normally transfer sound vibrations from the eardrum to the inner ear, where they are turned into nerve impulses that your brain understands as sound. He or she will examine the ears with an otoscope — an instrument with a lighted, cone-shaped end piece for looking in the ear canal at the eardrum.
Secondhand smoke disrupts the function of the Eustachian tube and changes the protection mucus provides.
Many infections will go away on their own and the only treatment necessary is medication for pain. This is done by a specialist in illnesses of the ears, nose and throat (an otolaryngologist), usually under anesthesia. However, long-term ear infections or fluid in the middle ear that may go untreated can cause speech delays that may require some form of speech therapy. Sometimes this fluid becomes infected, by either a virus or bacteria, and causes the tell-tale signs of a childhood ear infection: crying, pulling at the ears, general fussiness, fever, and difficulty sleeping. The signs of fluid in the middle ear can be as subtle as a slight loss of balance and changes in eating habits to hearing and speech related symptoms.
During these years they are hearing sounds modeled for them, and while they might not be speaking in complete sentences, they are learning how to form the sounds needed for fluent speech.
You wouldn’t be the first parent, however, to not recognize the signs of uninfected fluid in the middle ear. Some children with poorly formed or matured ear structures benefit from having tiny tubes placed in their ears to drain the fluid. Some children who miss that critical window of speech development because they had temporary hearing loss benefit tremendously from working with an SLP to get caught up with developmental milestones.
The eardrums are usually really thin in nature and the infections cause them to get perforations easily.
People often tend to ignore this fact and fly just to make sure that their business deals go well ignoring their health conditions. In some rare cases, these perforations last for several years and that is the proof that it is not going to heal naturally. When there is severe infection in the ear, the formation of these perforations are more prominent and such a condition should be taken seriously because it causes permanent ear loss.
Most ear infections either resolve on their own (viral) or are effectively treated by antibiotics (bacterial). They also may be called tympanostomy tubes, myringotomy tubes, ventilation tubes, or PE (pressure equalization) tubes.
These conditions most commonly occur in children, but can also be present in teens and adults and can lead to speech and balance problems, hearing loss, or changes in the structure of the ear drum. Sometimes children can hear so much better that they complain that normal sounds seem too loud. However, recent research suggests that protecting the ear may not be necessary, except when diving or engaging in water activities in unclean water such as lakes and rivers.
The hole can be patched through a minor surgical procedure called a tympanoplasty or myringoplasty. Ear tubes that remain too long may result in perforation or may require removal by an otolaryngologist.
Conductive hearing loss occurs when sound is not able to be carried from the ear to the brain due to something blocking the path.  In the case of an ear infection, it is the fluid buildup in the middle ear that causes the hearing loss.


Fluid and pressure build up, so bacteria or viruses that have traveled up the Eustachian tube into the middle ear can multiply and cause an ear infection. In people with otitis media, however, inflammation and infection may change this normal process. The doctor will look for redness and bulging of the eardrum and will check to see if it moves normally by blowing a puff of air through the otoscope. If enlarged adenoids or tonsils cause recurrent or persistent infections, the specialist may recommend surgery to remove them. In severe cases that go untreated, the infection can spread, causing an infection in the mastoid bone (called mastoiditis) or even meningitis, but this is rare. Whether or not your child requires antibiotics to treat the ear infection depends on the source of the infection and your pediatrician’s recommendations. Because fluid in the middle ear that is not infected often causes no pain in children, the condition can go left undiagnosed and untreated for a long period of time, increasing the likelihood of more severe symptoms down the road. Ear infections and excess fluid in the ears can result in hearing loss, even if it is temporary.
Many parents also find it helpful to work with an ENT – a doctor who specializes in the Ear, Nose, and Throat.
You can also help your child at home by speaking clearly, using precise language (perhaps single words for specific items), reducing background noise, and remembering that your child might be older now but needs some patience to recover that lost time in speech development. The event of perforated eardrum could lead to hearing loss and the intensity of the same depends on how badly your ear has been affected.
Anyhow, these perforated eardrum may heal in a week or so but that purely depends on how effected they were and how immune your body is to such conditions. So make sure that you get your ears checked regularly and watch out for these kinds of conditions because if treated in an advanced stage chances of recovering full hearing capability may not be possible. Short- term tubes are smaller and typically stay in place for six months to a year before falling out on their own. Other less common conditions that may warrant the placement of ear tubes are malformation of the ear drum or eustachian tube, Down Syndrome, cleft palate, and barotrauma (injury to the middle ear caused by a reduction of air pressure, usually seen with altitude changes such as flying and scuba diving).
This is most often done under a surgical microscope with a small scalpel (tiny knife), but it can also be accomplished with a laser. A myringotomy is performed and the fluid behind the ear drum (in the middle ear space) is suctioned out. Current research indicates that removing adenoid tissue concurrent with placement of ear tubes can reduce the risk of recurrent ear infection and the need for repeat surgery. Use the Options menu to expand or contract all items, display or hide summaries or sort the table of contents. Other symptoms can include fever, general body discomfort, rubbing or pulling of the ears in children, vomiting and diarrhea in infants, dizziness, loss of balance and fluid draining from the ear. Antibiotics are prescribed for any child younger than 6 months and for any person with severe symptoms. Some at home treatments include OTC pain relief and warm compresses to alleviate the initial and immediate pain. Imagine you are walking around underwater and the sounds are all distorted – this is what the world might sound like to a child with fluid in her ears, and this problem can be amplified if there is pain associated with it. People often tend to ignore the problem of perforated eardrum as they don?t feel much difference during the initial stages but once they start to experience hearing loss, they start panicking.
In these cases, insertion of an ear tube by an otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat specialist) may be considered. Long-term tubes are larger and have flanges that secure them in place for a longer period of time. Sometimes a doctor will write a prescription for antibiotics but will ask the patient or family to wait 48 to 72 hours before filling it, to see if symptms improve.
While they are not necessarily permanent, they can affect the speech and language development of younger children. When problems exist and hearing loss for any reason occurs, there is an increased risk that a child will have a speech delay. Moreover, intense infection conditions demand that you wear ear plugs to avoid water from making contact with the eardrum as a safety precaution.
Long-term tubes may fall out on their own, but removal by an otolaryngologist is often necessary. To prevent this, an ear tube is placed in the hole to keep it open and allow air to reach the middle ear space (ventilation). Ear drops may be administered after the ear tube is placed and may be necessary for a few days.



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11.05.2016 admin



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