Tubes in ears help children who suffer chronic middle ear infections, fluid behind the eardrum, or show evidence of the beginnings of hearing loss or speech delay. Special small plastic tubes are inserted through the eardrums into the middle ears through small incisions. The equalization of air pressure allows air to exchange freely with the air outside the ear. The tubes prevent negative pressure and infection that can come from the back of the nose to the ear.
The surgery is done under anesthesia, and children normally recover quickly and can go home within one to two hours and back to school or child care often by the next day. There seldom is pain or other symptoms after surgery. Some tubes fall out by themselves; however, sometimes a surgeon has to remove the tubes. Follow-up doctor visits are necessary to be sure the tubes in the ears are working correctly and to see if a child’s hearing has improved if there was a problem before the surgery.
Extra care has to be taken while the tubes in the ears are in place for six to twelve months and until the eardrum holes have healed, especially when bathing or swimming. Germs could get into the ear from the water and cause a cold, the flu, or other infections.
Category: Health & Well-being