Ear Tubes
Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ear infections cause pain and suffering not only to youngsters, but also to their parents who may endure sleepless nights and lost work days. Pediatric ear tubes can bring relief to children and their parents. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about this in todayís 60 Second Housecall.

Ear infections not only cause pain and fever, they can cause a ruptured eardrum and hearing loss. Children are more susceptible to ear infections than adults because of the size and shape of their Eustachian tubes that drain the inner ear.

Ear tubes are used to restore hearing and clear fluid from the middle ear. The plastic tubes are placed through a small incision in the eardrum. Tubes can be inserted in an outpatient surgery clinic. Children usually recover quickly and have little pain after surgery.

Tubes normally remain in the ears for six to twelve months. They usually fall out on their own as the eardrum grows. If not, surgery may be needed to remove them.

Children with ear tubes need to take extra precautions, especially around water. After tubes are inserted, a child needs regular checkups to see that the tubes are functioning. As many as 30 percent of children who have tubes inserted need to have them inserted more than once.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Iím Dr. Edward Hill.