AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 27, Number 3, 2018

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Ear Infections Can Lead to Meningitis, Brain Abscess And Other Neurological Complications

While antibiotics have greatly reduced the dangers of ear infections, serious neurological complications, including hearing loss, facial paralysis, meningitis and brain abscess still occur.

The article was written by Loyola Medicine otolaryngologists Michael Hutz, MD, Dennis Moore, MD, and Andrew Hotaling, MD. It describes the symptoms, diagnosis and management of the neurologic complications of acute and chronic otitis media (middle ear infection).

Otitis media occurs when a cold, allergy or upper respiratory infection leads to the accumulation of pus and mucus behind the eardrum, causing ear ache and swelling. In developed countries, about 90 percent of children have at least one episode before school age, usually between the ages of six months and four years. Today, secondary complications from otitis media occur in approximately 1 out of every 2,000 children in developed countries.

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