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Essentia Health
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Most people experience hearing loss due to aging, but it can occur at any stage of life. There are many medical and lifestyle reasons that may affect a person’s hearing.

If you are having difficulty understanding words, if others’ speech sounds muffled or if you find yourself frequently asking others to repeat what they say, we may recommend scheduling an appointment with our audiologist. An examination will determine whether you need a hearing test and what treatment may be needed.
Ear infections
Ear infections occur most commonly in children; however, they can happen at any age. The most frequent symptom is pain in the ear, accompanied by a fever. It is important to see a doctor if the child has a fever of 102.2°, has fluid coming from the ear or symptoms that last more than 2 – 3 days.

The most common type of infection, acute otitis media or middle ear infection, is caused by a virus or bacteria. Antibiotics are usually prescribed to treat an ear infection but since pain in the ear is not always caused by an infection and it may be difficult to determine a definite diagnosis, your provider may recommend waiting a few days to see if the earache goes away. Sometimes the body’s immune system can fight off the infection on its own.

Swimmer’s ear and otitis media with effusion are other conditions that can occur in the ear that may or may not need treatment. Chronic suppurative otitis media is a condition in which the ear infection won’t go away, even with treatment.

Ear infections may be prevented by making sure immunizations are up to date, not smoking and avoiding secondhand smoke, breastfeeding your baby for at least six months, washing your hands to avoid catching a cold, and drying ears after swimming.
Source: CDC


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