Loss of hearing may be provoked by many things, including ear infections. In general, deafness due to ear infection tends to be temporary condition with proper treatment. Speech and language problems may also occur as the result of temporary hearing loss, but these usually don’t last for a long period of time. Untreated infection may cause complications and permanent problems with the hearing. Children diagnosed with frequent ear infections may be at risk to develop some speech and language impairment due to loss of hearing.
Risk Factors and Prevention of Ear Infections in Children
Children may avoid some of the factors associated with hearing impairment and hearing loss, but not all. Kids who grow up in a group setting or live with adult people who smoke are often found to be exposed to increased risk of ear infections. Allergies and congenital defects like Down syndrome, abnormalities of the nervous system or cleft palate may also contribute to development or ear infections. Babies nursed from a bottle and lying down could also experience ear infections more frequent than other children of their age. On the other hand, babies who were breastfed are often seen to have lower incidence of ear infections and consequent hearing problems.
The use of cold and allergy drugs is not of much help as prevention of ear infections and hearing loss.
Prevention is possible and parents should look for any signs of ear infection. Always call your doctor when suspecting on ear infection of your child. Don’t smoke in the house if you have a child, because smoking could affect your kid’s ear and hearing.Mechanism of Hearing Loss in Ear Infection
Human ear is consisted of several parts, including outer, middle and inner ear. Outer ear collects the sounds, these travel through the middle ear filled with air and move to inner ear. In the inner ear sounds are transformed into electrical signals and then sent to the brain for processing.
Ear infection may affect the whole ear, however, the most common problem is infection of middle and inner part of the ear. Due to the infection, our ear could be filled with some fluid and the sounds can’t get through the fluid. If this condition happens to become chronic (known as chronic otitis media) and the patient is a child, it may affect his or her development of speech and language.
Frequent problems with ear infections in early childhood are discovered to significantly affect the speech and language and probable to lead to different problems regarding these issues.