Chronic Ear Infections

A chronic ear infection fails to respond to antibiotics, or constantly comes back despite treatment. If left untreated, chronic ear infections can result in permanent damage to the ear, including hearing loss.

A common cause of chronic ear infections is fluid build-up in the Eustachian tube, which runs from the middle of each ear to the back of the throat. When healthy, this tube drains the fluid made in the middle ear. When the Eustachian tube becomes blocked, fluid begins to collect in the tube, creating an environment in which infections can thrive.

Long-term ear infections may have less noticeable symptoms than short-term, or acute, ear infections. Symptoms of either can include:
  • Mild ear pain or pressure
  • Low-grade fever
  • Pus-like drainage from the ear
  • Hearing loss
  • Dizziness or imbalance
Temple's otolaryngologists are experienced in diagnosing and eliminating chronic ear infections.

Chronic Ear Infection Treatment at Temple

When ear infections fail to respond to antibiotics, Temple's otolaryngologists offer an array of surgical treatment options.

The first step is to diagnose the root cause of the infection. Commonly utilized diagnostic methods include:
  • In-office microscopic examinations of the ear
  • Thorough audiometric work-ups
  • CT scans of the temporal bone
  • Hearing tests
  • Middle ear function tests
Temple's head and neck surgeons are experienced in a variety of surgical treatment options, including:
  • Placing tubes in the ear to improve drainage in the middle ear
  • Surgery of the mastoid bone should it become infected
  • Complete surgical reconstruction of the middle ear