Does your child seem to constantly get ear infections? If so, they may be a candidate for ear tubes. Continue reading to learn more about the benefits of tympanostomy tubes.
What Is an Ear Infection?
An ear infection occurs when fluid builds up in the middle ear. This usually occurs when allergies or an illness elsewhere in the body, which your child may have caught while playing at Torrance Park, causes their nasal passages, throat and Eustachian tubes to swell. This swelling can prevent the middle ear from properly draining. A buildup of fluid within the middle ear can easily become infected and lead to an ear infection.
What Are Ear Tubes?
Ear tubes help fluid drain from the middle ear, reducing the risk of frequent ear infections. Small tubes made of plastic, metal or other synthetic materials are placed in the eardrum by an ear, nose and throat surgeon.
What Are the Benefits of Ear Tubes?
In addition to preventing additional ear infections, ear tubes can help:
- Improve your child’s hearing.
- Ensure your child’s speech development will not be affected.
- Correct sleep, communication or behavioral problems caused by ear infections.
Who Can Benefit from Ear Tubes?
Children between the ages of one and three are the most likely candidates to require ear tubes. Typically, by the time a child turns five their Eustachian tubes have grown and are no longer as susceptible to becoming blocked by inflammation.
How Are the Ear Tubes Inserted?
For most children, getting ear tubes is an outpatient procedure. While tympanostomy tube insertion is a surgical procedure, your child will usually get to go home that same day.
A tympanostomy, the technical name for the procedure, takes only about 15 minutes. The surgeon will make a small opening in the eardrum to drain the fluid and relieve the pressure within the middle ear. They will then place a small tube in the newly created opening.
Ear tubes usually fall out on their own in about six months to a year.
To learn more about the benefits of ear tubes or to find out if your child may benefit from them, schedule an appointment with the experts at Torrance Audiology today.