ZocdocAnswersDo chronic ear infections cause intracranial abscesses?

Question

Do chronic ear infections cause intracranial abscesses?

My daughter gets ear infections all the time. Is there something wrong with her? I worry about water on the brain.

Answer

Chronic ear infections are a common entity in children. Some children are more prone to getting recurrent ear infections than others. If you are worried about her recurrent ear infections, you should discuss this with your daughter's pediatrician and then discuss possible referral to an ear, nose and throat doctor for possible placement of ear tubes to help drain the fluid that accumulates in your child's ears causing recurrent infections. If your child has more than 3 infections in 6 months they may meet the criteria to have tubes placed. There are complications of chronic ear infections which can include a number of diagnoses. These include mastoiditis, which is an infection involving the bone behind the ear. This can result in fevers and redness and swelling behind the ear. This can lead to other infections in the brain, which could include meningitis, possible abscess or other complications. It is important that if your child has an ear infection and then starts to exhibit signs of meningitis or other brain involvement including lethargy, headache, photophobia, neck stiffness, etc that you take them to their primary physician or the emergency room for further evaluation. It is common for children to have recurrent ear infections and some children require tubes to be placed. Sometimes children will outgrow the ear infections. Again, please discuss this further with your daughter's pediatrician.

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