Ear infections and/or fluid in the middle ear may sometimes become a chronic problem leading to other issues such as hearing loss or speech problems. In these cases, insertion of an ear tube may be considered. Ear tubes are small cylinders placed through the ear drum to allow air into the middle ear. There are two basic types of ear tubes: short-term and long-term. Short-term tubes are smaller and typically stay in place for six months to a year before falling out on their own.The long-term tubes are longer and typically need to be removed by an otolaryngologist.
Ear tubes are often recommended when a patient experiences repeated middle ear infections (otitis media) or has hearing loss caused by the persistent presence of fluid. Each year more than half a million ear tube surgeries are performed on children. The benefits include reducing the risk of future ear infections, restoring hearing loss caused by fluid and improving speech and balance problems.
Read more about Ear Tube Surgery HERE.