Are ear infections serious?

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Ear infections often go away on their own therefore many physicians will only prescribe pain relievers when a person’s immune system is fighting the infection. In children who get frequent ear infections, a procedure may be done where tubes are placed in the eardrum in order to clear the fluid behind the ear which may be harboring bacteria. At times, ear infections may be more serious requiring antibiotics. Rare complications of ear infections could include hearing loss and infections to areas near the middle/inner ear. If hearing loss continues and happens in a child, this may impair speech development. Another complication of ear infections would be a ruptured ear drum if the increasing pressure from the pus behind an eardrum.

Continue Learning about Ear Disorders

Ear Disorders

Ear Disorders

Your ear is a complex organ composed of the outer, middle and inner ear (as well as fluid). Any disorder involving your ear -- ear infections, tinnitus, Meniere's disease -- can affect either your hearing or your balance. Treatmen...

t options for ear disorders vary based on the type of disorder you have.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.