Ask Dr. Marla: Does my son talk loudly because he’s had so many ear infections?



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Does my son talk loudly
because he’s had so many ear
infections? Could there be
permanent damage?

Answer:

Ear infection, or otitis media, is
often caused by an infection in the middle ear
which leads to inflammation. The middle ear
sits behind the tympanic membrane, or ear
drum. It is common to have some temporary
hearing loss with this condition. The three
small bones in our middle ear carry the sound
vibration from the ear drum to the inner ear
and allows us to hear. Inflammation or fluid
behind the drum can prevent the vibrations
from being transmitted efficiently.

Recurrent otitis media can definitely cause
damage to the ear drum, the small bones or
even the nerve that allows us to hear. This
can lead to a permanent hearing loss.

Your son talking loudly could be a sign.
Does he turn up the volume of the radio or
television also? If so, ask your physician
to assess your child’s hearing. He or she
may refer you to an Ear, Nose and Throat
physician to do a formal assessment. An
audiologist can perform tests to assess any
hearing loss, even in very young children.

Got a health question? Submit it to Dr. Marla.

Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, February/March 2013.

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