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November 5, 2013 by Kelly R Leave a Comment Ear infections are not uncommon among young children, occurring most often between the ages of 6 months and two years when children are growing rapidly and immune systems are still developing. Most ear infections are relatively easy to treat with medication; however, some children experience infections that occur very frequently or that are difficult to treat. Once implanted, the tubes will remain in place for about six months to a year, after which time they usually will fall out on their own without the need for surgical removal. Follow-up visits are also important to ensure the inner ear heals properly and in determining when normal showering and bathing routines may resume. Just as with all other aspects of human biology, there is a broad range of Eustachian tube function in children- some children get lots of ear infections, some get none. Allergies are common in children, but there is not much evidence to suggest that they are a cause of either ear infections or middle ear fluid. Ear infections are not contagious, but are often associated with upper respiratory tract infections (such as colds).
Acute otitis media (middle ear infection) means that the space behind the eardrum - the middle ear - is full of infected fluid (pus).
Any time the ear is filled with fluid (infected or clean), there will be a temporary hearing loss.
The poor ventilation of the middle ear by the immature Eustachian tube can cause fluid to accumulate behind the eardrum, as described above. Ear wax (cerumen) is a normal bodily secretion, which protects the ear canal skin from infections like swimmer's ear.
Ear wax rarely causes hearing loss by itself, especially if it has not been packed in with a cotton tipped applicator.
In the past, one approach to recurrent ear infections was prophylactic (preventative) antibiotics. For children who have more than 5 or 6 ear infections in a year, many ENT doctors recommend placement of ear tubes (see below) to reduce the need for antibiotics, and prevent the temporary hearing loss and ear pain that goes along with infections. For children who have persistent middle ear fluid for more than a few months, most ENT doctors will recommend ear tubes (see below).
It is important to remember that the tube does not "fix" the underlying problem (immature Eustachian tube function and poor ear ventilation). Adenoidectomy adds a small amount of time and risk to the surgery, and like all operations, should not be done unless there is a good reason. In this case, though, the ventilation tube serves to drain the infected fluid out of the ear.


The most common problem after tube placement is persistent drainage of liquid from the ear.
In rare cases, the hole in the eardrum will not close as expected after the tube comes out (persistent perforation). I see my patients with tubes around 3 weeks after surgery, and then every three months until the tubes fall out and the ears are fully healed and healthy.
If a child has a draining ear for more than 3-4 days, I ask that he or she be brought into the office for an examination.
Once the tube is out and the hole in the eardrum has closed, the child is once again dependant on his or her own natural ear ventilation to prevent ear infections and the accumulation of fluid. About 10-15% of children will need a second set of tubes, and a smaller number will need a third set. Children who have ear tubes in place and who swim more than a foot or so under water should wear ear plugs.
Deep diving (more than 3-4 feet underwater) should not be done even with ear plugs while pressure equalizing tubes are in place. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Painful ear infections are a rite of passage for children - by the age of five, nearly every child has experienced at least one episode.
What are ear tubes?Ear tubes are tiny cylinders placed through the ear drum (tympanic membrane) to allow air into the middle ear.
NOTE: This information is not intended to substitute for a consultation with your physician. Some children are more prone than others due to genetics or environmental factors, such as chronic exposure to secondhand smoke.
When ear infections occur over and over again, they can cause delays in speech or even hearing loss due to scarring of the ear’s inner tissues. By allowing the fluid to drain properly and maintain a healthy air pressure ratio within the ear, the number of subsequent infections is normally reduced. Regular follow-up visits can also help the ENT doctor determine if tubes need to be surgically removed or if they will fall out on their own over time as well as help monitor for recurring infections that may be treated with antibiotics. At Jacksonville ENT Surgery Center, we provide state-of-the-art care to help kids stay healthy and happy. Greene brings a deep understanding and years of experience to the Jacksonville ENT Surgery Center.
In a very short amount of time, her blog, titled “Kelly’s Thoughts on Things,” grew in popularity due to her honest and detailed reviews and in-demand giveaways. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions.


Most ear infections either resolve on their own (viral) or are effectively treated by antibiotics (bacterial). They also may be called tympanostomy tubes, myringotomy tubes, ventilation tubes, or PE (pressure equalization) tubes. It is offered to educate the patient and his or her family on the basis of otolaryngology conditions in order to get the most out of their office visits and consultations. Others may have persistent fluid behind the eardrum that does not easily drain and which can also cause loss of hearing. Although the vast majority of patients will require tubes only once, some children who continue to experience frequent infections may require the tubes to be replaced. While tubes are in place, care must be taken not to allow water to get into the ear while bathing, showering or swimming to prevent germs from entering and causing infection. She finds great satisfaction in reviewing products because she knows doing so helps her readers make better buying decisions. Grommets (ventilation tubes) for hearing loss associated with otitis media with effusion in children. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. Often, the adenoids are also removed since they frequently harbor bacteria that can cause ear infections to occur. In some cases, earplugs may be used to help prevent water from entering the ear canal, but earplugs should only be used when approved by the treating physician. Charles Greene earned his bachelor of science degree in biological sciences from the University of California, Irvine and both an M.D.
She regularly shares tips and information on a wide range of topics, including: fashion, beauty, travel, health, and autism. However, most of the information could also apply to adults with similar symptoms or problems. In these cases, insertion of an ear tube by an otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat surgeon) may be considered. In this role, she is highly active in social media by Facebook posting and Tweeting the blog posts she writes on a daily basis. The Jacksonville ENT Surgery Center is conveniently located at 11512 Lake Mead Avenue, Suites 531 and 536, in Jacksonville, Fla.



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