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Ear Tubes: What Are They?

ENTACC Services, Patient Exam

Ear infections are simple and easy to treat when they aren’t chronic, but when kids begin to suffer from recurring ear infections, your doctor may suggest eustachian tubes (ear tubes). Ear tubes help reduce the number of painful, frequent ear infections that kids can suffer from.

What are ear tubes?

Ear tubes are tiny cylinder-shaped tubes that are made of plastic. They are surgically inserted into the eardrum and should remain in place around 6 to 18 months. They typically fall out, and if not, a simple procedure is performed to remove them. Common names for ear tubes include:

  • Tympanostomy Tubes
  • Ventilation Tubes
  • PE or Pressure Equalization Tubes

Ear tube surgery is quick and easy.

Ear tube surgery or Myringotomy is the procedure used to put tubes in place. It is performed under general anesthesia and typically takes around 15 minutes. During the procedure, the doctor will suction out any fluids from the middle ear, make a small incision in the eardrum, and insert the tube. 

A myringotomy is a safe procedure that usually doesn’t come with complications. However, like every surgery, some risks include eardrum perforation, infection, or scarring.

Why does my child need ear tubes?

Ear infections are usually easy to treat, but when a child begins to suffer from multiple infections each year, they can cause long-term complications like hearing loss and cause extreme pain. Tubes are a way of avoiding the pain of recurring ear infections without medications or continued trips to the doctor.

Tubes come with many benefits. They help ventilate the middle ear to keep ear fluid from building up and causing those painful middle ear infections. Some other things that tubes can help include:

  • Restore fluid-induced hearing loss
  • Restore balance
  • Alleviate speech problems
  • Sleep and behavior issues caused by infections

Ear infection relief at ENTACC

If your child is suffering from chronic ear infections, ENTACC can create a treatment plan that will have them feeling better in no time.

Erin O. from Downingtown, PA

“I had stopped taking my allergy medicine and ended up with the worse sinus infection of my life. The staff at Ear, Nose & Throat Associates of Chester County genuinely will provide you with the best care. I was overwhelmed by the kindness, concern, and sense of urgency everyone gave. My phone calls were returned promptly and time was made to see me in the office when it was an emergency.”

Connie J. from West Chester, PA

“I can say after years of coming to Ear, Nose & Throat Associates of Chester County, my relationship and trust with Dr. Marriotti has grown tremendously. He is personable, friendly and I appreciate his input with my hearing condition. The staff at Ear, Nose & Throat Associates of Chester County is always cheery and pleasant. I enjoy my visits and always leave feeling like I am in good hands.”

Dauna P. from University Lincoln, PA

“I am so grateful for the care Dr. Picariello has given for my complex and serious brain diagnosis. He has made such an impression on the way the process was handled. I shall never forget him and how humble he was when dealing with my condition. He is truly one of the best around and I am fortunate for his high ethical standards and professionalism.”

Kathy S. from Schwenksvile, PA

“The knowledge, encouragement, concern, and individual attention the doctors of Ear, Nose & Throat Associates of Chester County had demonstrated was far beyond my expectations. The office atmosphere is professional yet friendly. The doctors know their profession well and are able to explain in basic understandable terms. They made sure we were comfortable and took their time going over everything extensively.”

James B., from Coatesville, PA

“The allergy shot process has been a great experience and has prevented a reoccurrence of my nasal polyps, and decreased the need for my asthma inhaler. The allergy staff is excellent.”