Does Your Child Need Ear Tubes?

Does it seem like you're spending too many days at the pediatrician's office, and too many nights tending to a crying child when you should be sleeping? Has your child been diagnosed with more than four ear infections in the past six months? And does it seems as if there is always a chronic build-up of fluid in their ears? Then you might want to speak with an ear, nose and throat doctor like Scott Callahan MD to see if your child needs ear tubes.

Why Ear Tubes?

If your child suffers chronic ear infections, it's possible that they could eventually cause your child to lose their hearing. Ear infections and a chronic build-up of fluid can also cause:

  • Speech problems. 
  • Difficulty in the classroom. Hearing loss can cause your child to appear as if they are not paying attention to their teachers when, in fact, they may not be able to hear them. In addition, your child could fall behind in school because they can't hear what is being taught to them.  
  • Balance issues. According to CNN, the build-up of fluid on the ears can have an effect on your child's balance and coordination. 
  • General behavioral issues. A child who is frequently in pain and who may be suffering from a lack of sleep caused by chronic ear infections may develop behavioral issues. 

Because the insertion of ear tubes by an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist can alleviate chronic ear infections, this surgery could also help prevent or correct these issues.

What are Ear Tubes

Ear tubes are small tubes made of several different types of material, including plastic or Teflon. Your Ear, Nose and Throat specialist will first make a small incision in your child's ear drums. Then your doctor will insert these small tubes into your child's ear drums to help ventilate and relieve pressure in the middle ear space. 

What to Expect with the Surgery

The insertion of ear tubes is the most common surgery for children, with more than 500,000 being performed each year. The following are some facts about this surgery:

  • Your child will typically be put under light general anesthesia.
  • The operation is a quick one, lasting approximately 15 minutes. 
  • Your child may experience little to no pain after the operation. In addition, if your child had hearing loss caused by fluid on the middle ear, their hearing should return to normal immediately after the surgery. 

If your child has been having numerous ear infections and you're concerned about their health and well-being, consult with an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist to see if ear tube surgery may be right for them.