Complications from ear infections are rare. But some problems that can occur include:
Trouble hearing. Hearing problems are usually temporary and mild to moderate. Long-lasting hearing loss is rare. But some children may have problems learning to talk and understand speech if they have repeat ear infections.
Rupture of the eardrum. If fluid continues to build up in the middle ear, the eardrum may burst. This leaves a small hole that often heals within 2 weeks.
Another complication is ongoing inflammation of the middle ear. The major symptom is repeat or ongoing drainage of pus from the ear through a small hole in the eardrum. Many children with this problem have some hearing loss.
Other complications may develop if there are repeat ear infections:
Tissue growth behind the eardrum.
Damage to the tiny bones in the middle ear.
Rare complications include mastoiditis and meningitis.
PeaceHealth endeavors to provide comprehensive health care information, however some topics in this database describe services and procedures not offered by our providers or within our facilities because they do not comply with, nor are they condoned by, the ethics policies of our organization.