Ear Tubes: When The Popping Isn’t Stopping

Many young children suffer from middle ear infections, known as otitis media, or OM. “If your child is experiencing multiple ear infections without signs of full recovery before the next one begins or has signs of hearing loss and or speech delay your child may be a candidate for ear tubes.” Says Dr. Marc Dean, ENT Specialist in Fort Worth and Dallas Texas. “Some children experience hearing, speech, or behavior problems related to recurrent infections, in these cases inserting ear tubes is currently a great way to relieve the pressure and prevent infections.”

Ear tubes are small cylinders, usually made of plastic or metal, that are placed in the eardrum allowing air to flow into the middle ear. They also may be called tympanostomy tubes, myringotomy tubes, ventilation tubes, or PE (pressure equalization) tubes. The flow of air prevents the development of negative pressure and fluid buildup. Ear tubes are tiny and allow fluid from infections to drain without your child experiencing pain.

Inserting Ear Tubes May:

  • Reduce the risk of future ear infection
  • Restore hearing loss caused by middle ear fluid
  • Improve speech and balance problems
  • Improve behavior and sleep problems caused by chronic ear infections

Each year, more than half a million ear tube surgeries are performed on children, making it the most common childhood surgery performed with anesthesia. The average age for ear tube insertion is 1 to 3 years old, but babies as young as six months can get ear tubes. Although the need for ear tubes commonly occurs in children, it can also be present in teens and adults.

Ear tube surgery is performed in both ears as most kids have had infections in both. Performed under general anesthesia and normally takes less than 30 minutes. Most children are sent home the day of surgery after recovery in a post-operative area.

Depending on the type of ear tube used, the tube remains in place for about six months to 18 months or longer.

Schedule your appointment with Fort Worth ENT Specialist Dr. Marc Dean.

Fort Worth Otolaryngologist Dr. Marc Dean is a Board Certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology and practicing full time in private practice. Dr. Dean specializes Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery and conditions and diseases of the ear, sinus, and disorders of the eustachian tube. Dr. Dean completed an Internship, in General Surgery and his Residency at Louisiana State University Health Science Center, where he now serves as Assistant Professor Otolaryngology/HNS. Dr. Dean is currently President and CEO of the Otorhinologic Research Institute. Contact Dr. Dean today on his profile or call 817-332-4060.