Temporary hearing loss
At Boston Children’s Hospital, we understand that if your infant or child has been diagnosed with temporary hearing loss caused by an ear infection, you and your family may be worried and have questions.
Here are some of the basics about temporary hearing loss caused by ear infections:
Hearing loss simply means that your child has problems hearing. Fortunately, for most children with hearing loss due to ear infections, the condition is temporary.
- Middle ear infections with symptoms, or middle ear fluid without symptoms, are both common in infants and young children.
- Having a middle ear infection or middle ear fluid (both called otitis media) can result in periods of temporary hearing loss.
- If your child has had numerous individual ear infections or prolonged middle ear fluid or a combination of both, associated with hearing loss or a delay in speaking, your doctor may recommend a brief surgical procedure called a myringotomy and tube placement. In this operation, a small incision is made in the eardrum and a tympanostomy tube is placed through the hole to keep it open.
- These tubes allow air into your child’s middle ear, which equalizes pressure, helps prevent future infections and, in most cases, restores hearing.
How Boston Children's approaches temporary hearing loss caused by ear infections
Boston Children's Pediatric Otolaryngology and Communication Enhancement Department treats temporary hearing loss in children who have had recurrent ear infections. Our team of dedicated, board-certified otolaryngologists, audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and educators cares for roughly 43,000 outpatient visitors annually and performs more than 6,000 surgical procedures each year.
Reviewed by: Margaret Kenna, MD, MPH, Director of Clinical Research, Department of Otolaryngology and Communication Enhancement © Boston Children’s Hospital; posted in 2012.