What are the risks of a middle ear infection (otitis media)?

David M. Vernick, MD
Ear, Nose & Throat (Otolaryngology)
Infections in and around the ear can cause conductive hearing loss. A middle ear infection, or otitis media, is the most common cause of hearing loss in children, although adults sometimes get it, too. Such an infection is accompanied by a buildup of fluid in the middle ear, which hinders sound waves from passing through. The hearing loss is usually temporary, but it can be permanent if infections are recurrent and aren't treated properly.

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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.