The Eustachian tube goes from the middle of each ear to the back of the throat and is supposed to drain fluid from the ear. When you have a cold or allergies, the tube can swell and become blocked causing fluid to build up behind your eardrum.
A middle ear infection occurs when this fluid builds up and becomes infected. A chronic ear infection means that the initial infection did not completely go away. This is likely because the infection didn’t respond to treatment or was never treated.
When you have an ear infection that doesn’t respond to treatment, contact our ENTs at our Los Angeles, Glendale, or Monterey offices to prevent a chronic ear infection.
If a chronic ear infection is not treated correctly, it can lead to serious complications including:
Surgery may be needed to drain the fluid behind the eardrum if you have a chronic ear infection or if you develop multiple ear infections in a short amount of time.
Surgery to insert ear tubes is a common procedure to drain the fluid and equalize pressure on the eardrums. A small cut is made in the eardrum and excess fluid may be removed. A small tube is then placed through the cut so fluid can continue to flow out of the middle ear and reduce the chance of another ear infection. The eardrum usually sheds the tube naturally after two to three years.
Depending on the cause of your ear infection, your ENT may also recommend removal of the adenoids or tonsils as well as other treatments.
Schedule an appointment at the Los Angeles Center for Ear, Nose, Throat and Allergy to discuss your best treatment option for chronic ear infection. We have ENT office locations in Los Angeles, Glendale, and Montebello.