Ear infections are common in children. Most ear infections are resolved with a short course of antibiotics. Ear infections that occur with the common cold can sometimes be resolved by simply letting the cold run its course. Your child may have a chronic ear disease if an ear infection cannot be resolved with normal treatment or the symptoms of an ear infection reoccur after treatment.
Chronic ear disease is also accompanied by the symptoms and signs of ear infection, which are:
Two common types of chronic ear disease are:
To diagnose chronic ear disease, your child’s doctor will use a microscope or a small, handheld device called an otoscope to look inside the ears. He or she will test your child’s hearing to see if there is any hearing loss from chronic ear disease. The doctor may also order a computed tomography (CT) scan to visualize the inside of the ear.
Treatment for chronic ear disease depends on what is causing your child’s symptoms.
Treatments for chronic otitis media may include:
Cholesteatoma requires surgery to remove the growth.
Your child may need hearing rehabilitation and hearing aids to help restore hearing damage from chronic ear disease.
Visit the trusted online resources below to learn more about chronic ear disease.
Riley at IU Health offers a broad range of supportive services to make life better for families who choose us for their children's care.
Watch a video about middle ear infection (chronic otitis media).
Learn more about the causes of and treatment for cholesteatoma.
Doctors at Riley at IU Health are currently researching new treatments for chronic ear disease. Ask your child's doctor for more information about this research.