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DrRussMD
DrRussMD, Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 64649
Experience:  Board certified Internal medicine and Integrative medicine. Many years of experience all areas.
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Can a chronic (2-3 year!) ear infection end up causing damage

Resolved Question:

Can a chronic (2-3 year!) ear infection end up causing damage and mild cognitive impairment? My wife's had this and during her worst attack recently she stated muddling words and lost her short term memory. Short tem memory better now but now and again (maybe once every couple of days) she says the wrong word in a sentence. MRI in mid April showed no abnormalities
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  DrRussMD replied 1 year ago.
Hello
If she has hearing loss and can not hear clearly this can appear as cognitive damage.
However, this can be sorted out on exam.
If she has significant short term memory loss it is something else.
Dementia in the early stages
Depression can do it.
OK, so that is an initial answer….
Please use reply to expert if you have further questions. When you are ready, please click a positive rating [hopefully excellent]. If you forgot something, come back. I am here daily.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No the short term memory loss was mild and short lived. No hearing loss but she seemed a bit confused for a short time and used the wrong words a few times when she hasn't before. Seems better but not back to normal. I was under the impression that long term ear problems could lead to cognitive issues
Expert:  DrRussMD replied 1 year ago.
Long term hearing loss can lead to a type of cognitive issue which is easily differentiated from dementia on exam.
If she has no hearing loss, i would have her see a neurologist if there is any recurrence of the problem.
In fact, having some formal testing now would be the safest and wisest course.
please click a positive rating [hopefully excellent]. If you forgot something, come back. I am here daily.
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