Ear tubes may need to be placed in the eardrums when the patient experiences recurrent infections or chronic fluid in the middle ear. While most ear infections in children may resolve on their own or with effective antibiotics, there are times where they can turn into a chronic problem needing more extensive treatment. Ear tubes can help reduce the chances of more serious complications of ear infections such as hearing loss, speech problems, or changes of the eardrum and hearing bones.
How Ear Tubes Work
Ear tubes are small cylinders that are inserted into the eardrum so that air can get back into the middle ear space. Fluid can also be removed at the time of insertion, which usually results in immediate improvement of some symptoms such as hearing loss and ear pressure. In young children, the procedure is normally performed as an outpatient surgery at a surgery center or hospital, and patients can typically go home in as little as an hour or two with very little post-operative pain. The tubes normally fall out on their own within 1-2 years.
Benefits of Ear Tubes
For appropriate patients, inserting ear tubes provides several benefits. The middle ear lining can function more normally with a decrease in severity and frequency of infections. Additionally, these same infections can be treated with topical ear drops instead of antibiotics by mouth, which decreases exposure to medicines and their side effects. Some patients notice improved balance and hearing with a decrease in speech and sleep problems.
Contact Us About Ear Tubes
If you or someone in your family suffers from chronic ear infections, ear tubes may be the best treatment option. Contact McKinney ENT Clinic online or call us at (214) 785-6811 or (972) 954-2030 to learn more or schedule an appointment.