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Can ear infections cause long-term problems?

ANSWER

Usually, ear infections don't cause long-term problems, but frequent ones can lead to:

  • Delays in learning speech and developing social skills
  • Hearing loss
  • Infection that spreads to other parts of the head
  • Tears, or holes, in the eardrum

SOURCES:

American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery: “Ear Tubes.”

Mayo Clinic: “Ear infection (middle ear),” “Ear Tubes.”

NIH, National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, “Ear Infections in Children.”

Reviewed by Dan Brennan on August 1, 2018

SOURCES:

American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery: “Ear Tubes.”

Mayo Clinic: “Ear infection (middle ear),” “Ear Tubes.”

NIH, National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, “Ear Infections in Children.”

Reviewed by Dan Brennan on August 1, 2018

NEXT QUESTION:

When should ear tubes be considered for a child's ear infections?

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