Ear Fluid and Hearing Loss – Boys Town Ear, Nose & Throat Institute


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.

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