5 doctors weighed in:

How long after ears become completely blocked (due to cold) does fluid begin to build up? Can hearing loss be permanent? Could the eardrum burst?

5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Louis Gallia
Surgery - Oral & Maxillofacial
2 doctors agree

In brief: Variable. No. Rare

Depends on the course of your disease.
Sometimes no fluid builds up. Hearing loss is temporary. Eardrum would only burst if you developed pus in the middle ear and pressure built up. Rare. Use OTC decongestants. Ask your MD about antibiotics. If no improvement, see ENT doc.

In brief: Variable. No. Rare

Depends on the course of your disease.
Sometimes no fluid builds up. Hearing loss is temporary. Eardrum would only burst if you developed pus in the middle ear and pressure built up. Rare. Use OTC decongestants. Ask your MD about antibiotics. If no improvement, see ENT doc.
Dr. Louis Gallia
Dr. Louis Gallia
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Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Varies with age

Studies in infants identified as many as 30% with asymptomatic fluid accumulation while apparently well for as long as 4 months in the first year of life.
With colds, fluid may or may not accumulate depending on Eustachian tube size and function.The hearing loss is transient returning to baseline when fluid is gone. Fluid itself will never burst a drum, while infected fluid might.

In brief: Varies with age

Studies in infants identified as many as 30% with asymptomatic fluid accumulation while apparently well for as long as 4 months in the first year of life.
With colds, fluid may or may not accumulate depending on Eustachian tube size and function.The hearing loss is transient returning to baseline when fluid is gone. Fluid itself will never burst a drum, while infected fluid might.
Dr. James Ferguson
Dr. James Ferguson
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