What Are the Possible Complications of Ear Infections?

possible complications of ear infections

The progress medicine has made in antibiotic treatment has had a very positive effect on reducing the dangers and risks inherently associated with ear infections. Nonetheless, people need to tread carefully around this medical condition because it can still be tricky (if nothing else, it can cause excruciating pain) and there is, unfortunately, always the chance for things to take a serious turn for the worse. In this text, we’ll go over the possible complications of ear infections, so you can be better prepared if the need arises.

What Are Ear Infections?

Known as otitis media in medical terminology, ear infections are most often the result of some kind of viral or bacterial infection in the middle ear, although they can also appear as a consequence of allergies. This causes fluids to accumulate in the middle ear, leading to the aforementioned pain.

The Complications

According to experts, these are some of the more serious possible complications of ear infections:

  • Eardrum tears

These will usually heal within a couple of days, but you might need to undergo surgery in some cases.

  • Loss of Hearing

It’s not unusual to experience mild hearing loss when you have an ear infection, but things should return to normal afterward. However, more serious, and even permanent, loss of hearing is possible if you have this problem frequently or you suffer a bad case of it.

  • Speech and Developmental Impediments

If a serious case of the aforementioned hearing loss affects a young child, it can lead to problems with speech, socialization, and development.

  • Spread of Infection

If not treated properly, the infection can spread to nearby areas. This can cause mastoiditis and, in severe cases, meningitis. A study also shows that ear infections caused by a species of bacteria known as Fusobacterium necrophorum can lead to Lemierre’s syndrome.


Although we have a pretty good grip on treating this condition, possible complications of ear infections still exist. Therefore, we advise caution and recommended you consult with your physician as soon as you suspect something.

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