Dealing With Chronic Ear Infections? 3 Dangerous Complications To Know

Hearing music, watching television, and listening to your family and friends make memories are all possible with your ears. Unfortunately, most people do not place much emphasis on the underlying health of their ears. Wax, fluid, and bacteria can build up inside the ears, increasing the risk of infections that can be treated with antibiotics. However, chronic ear infections or infections that are not treated can lead to more serious issues. If you are dealing with chronic ear infections, use this guide to learn about the potential risks that could occur without treatment:

Hearing Loss

While shocking to learn, fluid inside your ear and infections can cause hearing loss.

On average, excess fluid and an infected ear can cause hearing loss to 24 decibels, which will decrease your hearing to the point where it seems you are wearing earplugs.

Hearing loss can also occur if the severe inflammation from the infection damages the small bones in your ear.

Ear Drum Perforation

Chronic infections or an infection that is not treated can cause enormous swelling and inflammation in the ear canal. Without the right treatment, the inflammation will become even more severe, eventually infecting and causing the eardrum to swell and tear.

A perforation of the eardrum is not only painful, but it can also lead to further hearing loss.

Most eardrum perforations are capable of healing on their own. However, treating the cause, or the infection, is imperative.


Over time, chronic infections can cause a cluster of skin cells to form inside the middle part of your ear. Known as Cholesteatoma, this collection of skin cells can damage your ear permanently.

Here are a few symptoms of Cholesteatoma:

  • Excessive ear drainage
  • Fluid has foul odor
  • Fullness/pressure in ear
  • Dull ache in or behind the ear
  • Hearing loss
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness on one side of face

Without treating Cholesteatoma, the condition can lead to erosion of the bones in your ear. Not only will this affect your ability to hear, but it can cause a great deal of pain and discomfort.

Your doctor will first need to treat the infection with antibiotics. Antibiotic drops placed in the ear may also be necessary.

A large Cholesteatoma will require surgical treatment to remove the cluster of cells and repair any bone damage inside the ear.

An ear infection may be common, but it should be taken seriously. This guide will help you understand the possible dangers of an untreated or chronic ear infection. Contact a medical clinic like Alpine Ear, Nose & Throat, PC for more information and assistance.