Ear Infections and Language Development
In this article, you will find:
- What is otitis media?
- How can otits media affect hearing?
What is otitis media?
Ear Infections and Language DevelopmentOtitis media, an inflammation of the middle ear (behind the eardrum), is one of the most common illnesses of childhood. There are two different types of otitis media. Either can occur in one or both ears.
Most children will have at least one episode of otitis media by one year of age. And 10 to 20 percent of children will have otitis media three or more times, with fluid lasting an average of one month each time. Persistent ear fluid is more common in children under two years, but it can be seen in children older than two.
The middle ear space behind the eardrum usually contains air. When there is fluid in this space, it can cause the bones in the middle ear not to vibrate properly. This may cause mild, temporary hearing loss. The mild hearing loss lasts until the fluid is gone. Because this can happen when your child is learning to speak, you may have concerns. If so, a hearing evaluation and/or speech and language evaluation may be appropriate.
What are the signs of otitis media?
A child may have all, some, or none of these symptoms and still have otitis media. Otitis media frequently occurs when a child has a cold. When a child has otitis media with effusion, most of the time there are no symptoms. Ear infections are best detected by your child's healthcare provider. Contact your health care provider if you think your child may be sick.
How is otitis media treated?
Acute otitis media (ear infections) can be treated by:
Otitis media with effusion (fluid) can be treated by: