Impact of Ear Infections On Brain Development

 Ear infections decrease one’s ability to hear sound clearly and strongly; thus impacting brain development. Chronic, poor middle ear health is associated with decrease stimulation along auditory neural pathways from the cochlea to the brain.

Chronic Ear Infections?

Your Moore Auditory-Visual Questionnaire Report will share intensity of behavioral difficulties related to specific areas of concern improving communication with Cheri, professionals, doctors, and therapists.

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Using hearing test results, Cheri Moore helps children and adults improve their ability to respond to auditory integration training and maintain progress. 


It is an honor to work with Cheri Moore on her journey with auditory integration therapy.  She has shown a consistent desire to go above and beyond in every aspect of her practice and training.  Cheri’s quest for greater understanding and her thirst for knowledge are demonstrated daily.  It is a pleasure to work with a professional who is so eager to learn and apply new information to help her clients reach their best possible outcomes.

Kathy J Harvey-Jones, MsEd, Audiology, BC-HIS

Click on the video to learn how behaviors are affected when there is temporary hearing loss from poor ear, nose and throat health.

Ear Infections Increase Risk for Disrupting Brain Development

The health of the hearing system is essential to promote brain development in children affecting brain development. Numerous studies found that disruption of the hearing system due to ear infections, especially during infancy and preschool years of brain development, negatively affected the development of speech, language, balance, and auditory processing skills.
(Casselbrant, Gravel, Margolis, Bellussi,, Dhooge, & Downs, 2002; Vernon- Feagans & Proctor, 1994; Hasenstab in 1992; and Benasich & Tallal, 2002). 

Researchers found that “adverse effects in speech, language development, and balance in some children” culminated in learning and behavioral problems.
(Casselbrant, Gravel, Margolis, Bellussi, Dhooge, & Downs, 2002) (Klein, 2001, as cited in J. S. Stenton, 2003).


Learn how you hear your own voice through the fun activity in the video below.

Adenoids Increase the Risk of Ear Infections

Ear infections are commonly associated with enlarged adenoids that increase the risk of chronic congestion due to the blockage of eustachian tubes. Under-activity occurs in the hearing system when there are ear infections, enlarged adenoids, or a lack of strong sound stimulation along auditory neural pathways. 

Auditory Integration Training and Vestibular Stimulation

Auditory Integration Training pushes stimulation equally to both ears. Headphones gently stimulate your cochlear and vestibular chambers. If your hearing evaluation shows that one ear is weaker than the other ear, Berard Auditory Integration Training puts more volume in the weaker ear.  Before and after an auditory integration training session, clients complete thirty minutes of vestibular play.

little girl jumping on bubble wrap to stimulate the eustachian tubes

Ear Infections Decrease Hearing

Researchers confirm that ear infections decrease hearing. When chronic, ear infections also impact brain development. Brain development is critical for obtaining developmental milestones in all ages.  Researchers found that the brain develops until age 26.

Researchers Zargi, M. and Boltezar, H.(1999) consistently found the following difficulties in 33 infants and toddlers experiencing three or more acute ear infections before age two, a chronic condition.

(Zargi, M., Boltezar, H. (1992). Effects of recurrent otitis media in infancy on auditory perception and speech.  American Journal of Otolaryngology. 13 (6), 366.) (Supported in June 2003, Report of the Eighth Research Conference; Supported in 2010 by Ungkanont, K., Charuluxananan, S., Komoltic C.)

  • Temporary hearing loss up to 40 decibels (dB) — a Conductive Hearing Loss
  • Continuing fluid without an ear infection lasted several weeks in 50% of infants/preschoolers
  • Continuing fluid without an ear infection lasted up to six months in 10% of infants/preschoolers
  • Decreased perception of sounds while listening in 88% of toddlers
  • Approximately 4 out of 8 parents lacked awareness of hearing impairment in the 8 toddlers who tested positive for a conductive hearing loss due to fluid in the middle ear.

Statistically significant differences between the two control groups showing an increased risk for decreased sound energy reaching the cochlea:

  • Greater hearing loss during a common cold (.0003)
  • Abnormal color and position of ear drum (tympanic membrane .0001)
  • Lower pressure (60 to 70 mm H2O) in the middle ear when compared to participants with typical-sized adenoids.

Cheri Moore’s Findings

Cheri Moore’s experiences and observations improved clients’ response to vision therapy. Clients with hearing loss maintained progress only when hearing aids like the Roger FM Hearing System were consistently worn.

Cheri’s desire to improve clients’ emotional responses during auditory integration training prompted her to track clients for years after they completed auditory integration training. Cheri discovered a high rate of co-existing visual processing difficulties and sound intolerance, with or without a hearing loss.  

Some clients experienced increased visual processing difficulties during auditory integration training, like chronic double vision. Thus, Cheri collaborated with optometrists specializing in vision therapy to track each client’s progress. Individualized Auditory-Visual Protocols have resulted in improved responses to auditory integration training and vision therapy.

How to Teach Safe Listening Habits

Spice up summer with fun activities that teach safe listening habits. In a technology-driven society, adults, teens, and children are exposed to sound through devices, headphones, and earbuds more than ever before. While it is convenient to just pop in your earbuds and go about your day, I encourage mindfulness concerning the effects of exposure to sound on your hearing system. It is now more important than ever to teach safe listening habits.

How Do I Know Which Sounds Are Harmful?

Have you ever thought about which sounds are harmful? Everyday common sounds, at home and away from home, can be harmful. Even when you enjoy loud sounds, your body may later provide clues that sounds were too loud. Additionally, sounds affect our mood and behaviors. You can take control of your sound environment. Use the fun apps and charts below to explore your sound environment. Then, design your sound environment to meet your needs.

Eustachian Tube Inflammation in Adults & Children

Food allergies and intolerances cause eustachian tube inflammation in adults and children with and without fluid build-up. Eustachian tube inflammation contributes to ear pain, ear infections, and even the ability to hear your own voice. Surprisingly, you may even experience difficulty keeping your balance. The why behind balance difficulties still astonish me.

Headphone Usage by Children and Brain Neuroplasticity

Headphone usage, while convenient in today’s society, could be negatively affecting the development of your child’s brain, the next generation.

Listening Habits Affect the Safety of Earbud and Headphone Usage

Researchers learned that your listening habits affect the safety of earbud and headphone usage. Most of us assume that what is sold must be safe. Surely the volume on my listening device is safe with and without headphones. However, researchers found that volume is just part of the issue. Have you ever asked yourself, “What safety precautions should I take when I use headphones and earbuds?” Why do I ask?

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FDA Statement On AIT

"Auditory Integration Training remediateds impairments in auditory discrimination (sound sensitivity and auditory distortion) associated with Autism, Learning Disabilities, and related disorders - ADD, ADHD, CAPD (Central Auditory Processing Deficits), SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder), Dyslexia."


Need Help?

Cheri Moore helps children and adults improve their ability to respond and maintain progress after auditory integration training using medically-based testing to guide intervention.