Ear tube surgery and alternatives

There is a safe, effective, and cost‐saving alternative to ear tube surgery and antibiotics for ear infections and other eustachian tube problems. Eardoc is a safe ear tube alternative that treats and eliminates ear infections symptoms.

Ear tube surgery is a common operation for children suffering from chronic ear infection episodes. In order to place the tube an incision is made in the ear drum. After the incision is made the tube is placed and sometimes antibiotic drugs are given as well.

Ear tubes

Ear tubes

Usually temporary ear tubes are used that stay in place approximately 9 months to 15 months. These ear tubes have been specifically design to be placed in the eardrum such that they cannot fall behind the ear drum. They only fall out of the eardrum when they are no longer needed.

Ear tube is not a fix all solution

Ear infections are the second most common childhood illnesses. Most kids experience at least one ear infection by the age of three. Each year about two million tubes are inserted into children to treat chronic ear infections in the US alone.

There are two purposes for an ear tube surgery:

1) Ear tube surgery allows drainage of any fluid

2) Ear tube surgery releases pressure behind the ear drum, which allows better hearing and relieves pain.

Recent studies indicate that ear tube implants showed no significant difference in later hearing and speech development.

Tympanostomy tubes are used for chronic infections, for chronic fluid behind the ear, and for children who suffered enough infections having hearing loss.

Ear tube surgery does not require the level of anesthesia in most cases that most general surgeries do, however any surgery procedure has some risk.

Tympanostomy is not the 1st line of treatment, and is usually performed on children who are not responding to maximal medical management, or children with repetitive ear infections that create hearing problems and subsequent language problems.

Symptoms leading to ear tube surgery:

1) Persisting ear infections not responding to combination therapy using the strongest antibiotics combined with oral steroids, particularly if your child is irritable, feverish or clearly ill and can’t tolerate the medications.

2) Breakthrough ear infection episodes in a child who is already on antibiotics on a continuous basis to try to prevent such infections from coming through. Breakthrough ear infections in a child that is using antibiotic prophylactics, that is antibiotics used only during colds or during teething (episodic antibiotic prophylaxis). Also the repeated spontaneous development of ear infection episodes without accompanied colds or other upper respiratory infections, making it virtually impossible to time any type of prophylactic antibiotics.

Ear Inspection through a microscope3) Repeated development of ear infections associated with ear drum perforation, a very serious condition indicating the ear infections are creating real damage to the ear drum, middle ear space and possibly to the ossicles.

If fluid is observed consistently in one or more ears for more than 6 months, even if your child seems to be hearing appropriately, and hearing seems normal in formal testing then your child should have that fluid drained and tubes put in.

If the tubes are in for three months, but the child is having trouble hearing, paying attention for other behavioral difficulties will also be an indication for Fluids or inflammation.

The consisting or fluctuating Eustachian tubes dysfunction for more than 6 months, if your child is experiencing hearing, learning, paying attention or behavioral difficulties and of course the deterioration of the appearance of the ear drum including the development of saggy ear drum with retraction pockets, beginning of retention of skin debris on the ear drum or the appearance of bony erosions involving the visible ossicles.

A tymphanotomy is a procedure in which a small cut or incision is made in the ear drum. Usually the procedure is performed in both ears, although sometimes it is only needed in one ear. If there is fluid inside the middle ear it may be removed or suctioned out at this time through the incision.

Risks of ear tube surgery

In addition to general risks for any anesthesia including: breathing problems, reactions to medicine, infection, or bleeding. Ear tube surgery holds risks that include scarring of the ear drum which can cause permanent hearing loss, permanent hole in the ear drum that does not heal over time, and drainage from the ear. Need for further and more aggressive surgery such as tonsil, adenoid, sinus, or ear surgery

Pressure equalizing tubes are used to allow air into the space behind the ear drum, which allows the ear drum to move. Normally, our Eustachian tubes perform this function. However, if they are not fully developed, are not functioning well, or are not formed correctly, an infection can set in. In children, inserting tubes when needed is performed under anesthesia. For adults it can be done under local anesthesia.

On occasion, repeat insertion is necessary. Thousands of children undergo ear-tube surgery each year. A Tube about the size of a pencil lead is inserted allowing fluid drainage from the ear.

 
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