What Are Ear Tubes And Does Your Child Need Them?

Posted on: 10 April 2018


If you are not vulnerable to ear infections, you may not be familiar with ear tubes. These tiny, cylindrical devices are inserted directly into the patient's eardrum. The ear tubes can be made from either metallic or plastic materials, and their primary function is to facilitate the smooth flow of air in and out of the eardrum. Ear tubes are typically surgically inserted in children's who suffer from a buildup of fluid in their inner ear. So what do you need to know about this type of ear surgery and how can you tell if your child may need it?

What does ear tube surgery entail?

The first notable advantage of ear tube surgery is that is minimally invasive, so you do not have to worry about your child having to endure a prolonged healing period. Secondly, the procedure only needs several minutes to be completed. To perform the ear tube surgery, the ENT specialist will administer general anaesthesia so that your child can go to sleep. The tubes are then inserted and will not have to be taken out professionally. As your child grows, the tubes will eventually be expelled naturally.

How do you know if your child might need ear tubes?

Ear tubes surgery is a versatile form of treatment as it is used to correct different types of ear problems. Typically, if your child keeps suffering from chronic pain in their ear, chances are pressure from fluid buildup is causing this discomfort and they will be a suitable candidate for ear tube insertion. Other specific ailments that could cause your kid to need this type of surgery include:

  • Recurrent ear infections: Although kids are known to be vulnerable to ear infections, they are not supposed to be surfing from them on a frequent basis. If you notice that your child has acquired multiple ear infections in less than a year, it is advisable to see an ENT specialist so that they can determine whether your kid will find some relief from ear tube surgery.
  • Loss of hearing: Detecting hearing loss in children may be challenging, especially if the child does not even know what is happening. But if you notice that it takes you talking louder to catch their attention or perhaps they can only watch television with the volume at maximum, your kid could have developed some hearing loss. A visit to an ENT specialist will be imperative as soon as possible so that the issue is remedied before irreparable damage occurs to your child's eardrum.