Fluid may remain in the middle ear (serous otitis, or middle ear effusion) after your child has an ear infection. This may not cause symptoms, or it may cause a muffling of sound, decreased hearing, and mild discomfort. The body usually reabsorbs fluid behind the eardrum within 2 to 4 months, and hearing returns to normal.
It may be hard to tell if a child has a hearing problem, especially children age 3 and younger. The following may help you check your child's hearing at age:
- Birth to 3 months.
- 4 to 6 months.
- 7 months to 1 year.
- 1 to 2 years.
- 2 to 4 years.
- 4 years and older.
Your child may have a hearing problem if he or she is not responding to voices or sounds as well as in the past and other symptoms of a cold or ear infection have gotten better or gone away.