What You Need to Know About Common Ear Problems


Endoscopic sinus surgery

Did you know that 83% of children will have an ear infection by their third birthday — and 30% of children will have had multiple episodes of ear infections by that point? Ear problems are a constant for some people, and children often experience ear aches more than most — as many harried parents can attest to.

If your child has chronic ear problems, the best thing you can do is get informed. Research these issues, know what causes them (so that you can try and prevent it from happening so often!) and know what the potential treatment solutions are. Here are a few common ear issues you should know about.

Cholesteatoma and Other Chronic Ear Problems

Cholesteatoma and other chronic ear problems is an expanding growth that occurs in the ear. Though they are not actually considered a cancer, they are quite similar to tumors in how they grow and can impact the ear. They often erode away at the bones of the middle ear, and can even spread into the brain through the skull.

Symptoms of this issue include hearing loss and discharge. Less commonly, people may experience pain and headaches. In many cases, this growth is considered one of the congenital abnormalities of the ear, but sometimes it is caused by trauma to the ear or middle ear mucosa. Treatment involves removing the growth, although cholesteatoma tends to be a persistent disease. Surgery can be difficult because the main goal of the surgeon is to remove the growth, but the secondary concern is preserving hearing; and the first goal can often be at odds with the second surgical goal.

Chronic Otitis Media

Chronic otitis media is a continual infection of the middle ear; it can, in fact, be caused by cholesteatoma, or it can be caused by a perforation to the eardrum that hasn?t had a chance to heal. It often occurs in flare ups, with a painless, bad smelling discharge occurring after patients experience colds or throat sores, or after they go swimming (which allows water to enter the ear). Over time, persistent flare-ups can result in polyps and destroy parts of the inner ear, resulting in partial hearing loss.

The majority of infections clear up within five days and don?t require treatment; ibuprofen and antibiotics are issued for cases that do not go away. Unfortunately, as with many common ENT problems, there is often not much that can be done except treat per case.

If your child is experiencing cholesteatoma and other chronic ear problems, or you suspect they might be, visit a pediatric ENT Tampa residents trust in order to understand your full range of treatment options.

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