Ear Tube Placement for Children or Adults
Inflammation and fluid buildup in the ears can cause many problems, including chronic ear infections and damage to the ear. When the ears are not draining correctly, one treatment option may be the use of ear tubes. These are tiny tubes that are placed inside the eardrum to allow fluid from the middle ear to drain and allow better air flow within the ears. At Julie Zweig, MD Integrative Sleep & ENT, we provide ear tube placement for children and adults at our clinic in Alpharetta, GA.
The ear has three portions – the outer, middle and inner ear. The outer ear and middle ear are separated by the eardrum – the middle ear is the space behind the eardrum that contains the three small bones that vibrate and help interpret sound. The middle ear is the area that can collect fluid, especially if the eustachian tube is not draining fluid correctly down into the throat. This condition, which can cause infection and hearing problems, is common in children who have small eustachian tubes that can easily be blocked.
Ear or tympanostomy tubes are used to fix drainage and air flow problems in the ear. The tiny tubes or cylinders direct all air through to the middle ear and drainage of fluids out of the ear. This can correct chronic ear infections or hearing issues.
Tympanostomy Tube Surgery
Ear tubes are inserted into the eardrum with surgery. This procedure is low risk and can be performed as an outpatient procedure. The surgery only takes about 15 minutes to perform – a small hole is made in the eardrum, fluid is suctioned out from the middle ear and the ear tube is placed in the hole. After a short recovery at the surgical center, patients can return home the same day and usually can resume normal activities within 1-2 days.
Ear tubes are not permanent – they fall out after several months and the eardrum usually heals and closes on its own. In some cases, the tube may need to be removed or the hole surgically closed.
Ear tubes for children and adults can be beneficial for reducing frequent ear infections and hearing issues. If you or your child has chronic ear infections, come see us at Julie Zweig, MD Integrative Sleep & ENT. Contact our clinic in the Alpharetta, Roswell and Dunwoody, GA, area to schedule your ear tube consultation.