Chicken Pox and Hearing Loss

Chickenpox

Chickenpox is an infection caused by the varicella zoster virus. It gives the sufferer rashes, red itchy spots and can make them feel unwell. Chickenpox is a contagious disease which anyone can catch but mostly it affects the children who are under 14 year of age.

The Ear, Hearing and Chickenpox

Blocked Eustachian Tube, trapped fluid, imbalanced pressure, ear drum
Fig 1: Eustachian Tube
In some children there is a risk of developing middle ear infection (also know as otitis media) when they are suffering through chickenpox. This is a common childhood infection where bacteria is trapped in the Eustachian tubes (a small pressure vent that connects behind eardrum to the back of the throat) of the ear and causes it to become red, swollen and inflamed. Hearing loss, though very rare, can be caused due to this.

Chicken pox can also cause permanent hearing in some cases.

Prevention

There are vaccines available for chicken pox. One may still contract chicken pox even after the vaccination, but it usually will be a very mild case of chickenpox.

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