Ear infections: What are the potential dangers?

Ear infections develop once fluid accumulates within the ear. In most cases, it causes ear pain and fever. Even though most infections settle without triggering any issues, they can cause issues beyond the immediate signs that arises. Remember that potentially dangerous complications might manifest if ear infections do not rapidly settle or if they recur repeatedly.

Ruptured eardrum

Once fluid from ear infections accumulates behind the eardrum, the pressure can cause a ruptured eardrum. The usual indication is the drainage of pus and blood from the affected ear.

Nevertheless, the condition is typically brief, and the eardrum often recuperates on its own without requiring surgery after the pressure from the blocked fluids is released.

Enlargement of the tonsils and adenoids

ear-infections

Once fluid from ear infections accumulates behind the eardrum, the pressure can cause a ruptured eardrum.

Oftentimes, ear infections trigger inflammation that causes the swelling of the tonsils or adenoids. The tonsils and adenoids are tissues that are a component of the lymphatic system that helps protect the body from microorganisms from the nose and mouth.

The adenoids are positioned in the upper throat at the rear part of the nose while the tonsils are found in the back part of the throat. Once they enlarge, hearing and breathing issues might manifest.

Hearing loss

Individuals suffering from lengthy or repeated ear infections might end up with hearing loss. This is an issue of concern among young children who need to properly hear to be able to learn language and fully develop speech.

The ear infections can trigger either brief hearing loss for a few weeks before the fluid drains from the ear or lasting hearing loss if the fluid is left trapped within the ear for several months and permanently impairs the eardrum and adjacent bones.

Increased frequency of ear infections

An ear infection that is left untreated can spread to other body parts. One of the most prevalent forms of ear infections is mastoiditis.

Even though rare, the ear infections might move to other parts of the head. An ear infection that is left untreated can result to meningitis.

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