Tubes for Ear Infections
Ear tubes are plastic and shaped like a hollow spool. Doctors suggest tubes for children who have repeat ear infections or when fluid stays behind the eardrum. A specialist (Reference otolaryngologist Opens New Window) places the tubes through a small surgical opening made in the eardrum (myringotomy or tympanostomy). The child is unconscious under Reference general anesthesia Opens New Window for this surgery.
View a Reference slideshow on ear tube insertion Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window to see the steps that are performed.
Tubes can help with ear infections because they:
- Allow air to enter the Reference middle ear Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window.
- Allow fluid to flow out of the middle ear through the tube into the ear canal.
- Clear fluid from the middle ear and restore hearing.
- Prevent future buildup of fluid in the middle ear while they are in place.
- Decrease the feeling of pressure in the ears, which reduces pain.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: September 10, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
Reference Charles M. Myer, III, MD - Otolaryngology