If your child has a history of recurrent ear infections or persistent middle ear fluid, he or she may be a candidate for ear tubes. Either of these conditions can be very distressing to both the patient and parent. Symptoms include ear pain, fever, irritability, discharge draining from the ear, loss of sleep and hearing loss. The majority of children treated for these problems will improve with medication, however a small percentage, unfortunately, do not.
If this is not resolved, it often causes language and speech delay.
In older children this can result in impaired academic & school functions.
Insertion of ear tubes is a brief procedure to allow mechanical drainage of fluid behind the eardrum,
which then allows proper ventilation of air returning to that space. The pressure equalizing tube remains in place following the procedure and then allows a pathway to insert ear drops if needed while the tube is i. place. Pressure equalizing ear tubes are often recommended if a child experiences three infections within 6 months, five infections with in 12 months, or persistent middle ear fluid for 3 months with associated hearing loss.
It is a brief procedure which typically requires approximately 5 minutes per ear. It is performed under brief anesthesia to ensure the child remains motionless while the tube is placed in the intended location.
Most tubes typically remain in place for 6 to 18 months and are often actually pushed out by the eardrum. We recommend examination afterwards at least once every 6 months to ensure the tubes are functioning properly, and later detach from the eardrum properly.