Ear Fluid and Hearing
Rodney Lusk, M.D.
Hi, I'm Doctor Rodney Lusk, Director of the Boys Town Ear, Nose and Throat Institute.
Middle ear fluid or effusion, is fluid that builds up in the middle ear or behind the eardrum. Fluid that remains in the middle ear for three months or longer is called chronic otitis media and could result in permanent damage to the eardrum and sometimes to your child's hearing.
Fluid typically results in a mild hearing loss of 25 to 28 decibels but twenty percent of children have levels exceeding 35 decibels and this represents a significant hearing loss.
Resolution of hearing is the norm when the fluid resolves through medication or tubes. Persistent fluid in the ear, even if the fluid does not cause pain, does require medical attention.
If you think your child may have a hearing loss or fluid contact your child's primary care doctor.
For more information and videos on pediatric ear, nose and throat problems please visit boystownent.org.
In our Pediatric Ear, Nose & Throat series, Dr. Rodney Lusk, Board Certified Otolaryngologist at the Boys Town Ear, Nose & Throat Institute, explains how ear fluid can cause a hearing loss in children.