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Collection of fluid behind the eardrum is one of the most common causes of hearing loss in children and adults. At the time of surgery a small ventilation tube which cannot be seen from the outside is generally left in the eardrum. Neck masses occur quite commonly in children and involve swelling that changes the shape of the neck. Neck masses in adults are far more likely to be due to concerning pathology than neck masses in children, especially in older patients who smoke or drink. Written by a Newport Beach Otolaryngologist and Laryngologist, the Newport Voice Blog is an educational resource for patients interested in voice,swallowing, and airway disorders. It is caused by blockage of a very small tube which goes from the ear down to the back of the throat called the Eustachian tube. After this, keep your ear dry (generally with an ear plug) when washing your hair or taking a shower or swimming.


Usually improvement is noted within 24 hours and a cure within 48 hours on the return office visit. It is designed to provide reliable medical information in a format that is easy to understand. However, it is always recommended to have neck swelling evaluated by a head and neck specialist when the patient is an adult and a pediatric otolaryngologist for children. The only way to determine the type of neck mass a child has is to seek evaluation by a pediatric otolaryngologist. This could include a CT scan, blood tests, ultrasound, or other tests depending on the age and health of the child as well as the severity of the condition. The Eustachian tube, which is particularly small in children, can easily get block up from a cold or when descending from a mountain or on an airplane.
The first line of treatment is medications: Decongestants, antibiotics and sometimes a short course of steroids.


As Chief of Medical Resources, I hold an undergraduate degree in Neuroscience from the University of California, Los Angeles and a graduate degree in Medical Science from the University of Southern California. When this happens air can no longer get into the middle ear and fluid collects behind the ear drum in the middle ear instead. If this does not help surgery, which either be done in the office under local anesthesia or in the operating room under general anesthesia is considered to drain the ear and restore the hearing.
The tube usually falls out by itself in months to two years which gives the ear a good long time to get back to normal and in children for the eustachian tube to grow larger so it does not block up so frequently.



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