Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Research – Part 1

For this research series, snippets from a previous post [Types of Hearing Loss] will be expanded into further research and comment.

Causes of Hearing Loss
I. Conductive
   A. Fluid in the middle ear from colds

Common Colds can cause fluid buildup in the Middle Ear that is due to a malfunctioning Eustachian Tube. This section begins behind the Ear Drum and extends to the Cochlea. Fluid buildup begins when the Eustachian Tube fails to open and allow the fluid to drain. The pressure from this against the eardrum effectively muffles the sounds passing through. Bacterial infections can also arise from this issue and cause further discomfort, pain and hearing loss. It appears that children are the most susceptible to this than adults are, but then it is not all that rare for adults to have this type of infection either.


Most infections will go away on their own. Doctors do prescribe antibiotics to speed up the process and recommended for very young children. Sometimes, temporary hearing loss in children can happen and may last for several months. If you get concerned, go to your doctor!

Causes of Hearing Loss
I. Conductive
   b. Otitis Media - middle ear infection or inflammation

You have an earache. Depending on the cause and location of the offending condition, the type of earache is either: Acute, Serous or Chronic Suppurative. 

Acute is typically viral in nature, accompanied by upper respiratory infections. 

Serous, also called Otitis Media w/effusion, is simply a collection of fluid in the middle ear caused by a failure of the Eustachian Tubes.

Chronic Suppurative is a hole in the tympanic membrane [eardrum] and a bacterial infection.

Children have a higher risk of permanent hearing loss though it is not unheard of in adults as well. Early detection and treatment is beneficial for all ages.

Causes are Strep, Flu and the common cold mostly, but anything that causes an earache must be diagnosed as soon as possible. There are many reasons and causes, many more severe than a mere earache!


There are several options available from over the counter drugs to prescription antibiotics. In the more serious occurrences of the Chronic Suppurative types, surgery may be necessary. Placement of a “grommet” in the hole helps to reduce the risks of reoccurrences.