For children and adults with certain types of ear problems, ear tubes can offer a solution. From children experiencing frequent ear infections to adults dealing with irritated eustachian tubes, ear tubes can help correct many different ear problems by improving drainage and ventilation in the ear. The ear, nose and throat doctors at ENTLC in Maysville, KY can evaluate your ear health and determine if ear tubes would benefit you.
Purpose of Ear Tubes
The primary purpose of ear tubes is to provide ventilation to the middle ear. In normally functioning ears the eustachian tubes facilitate ventilation of the middle ear. Ventilation is accomplished by draining fluid secretions from the middle ear, regulating the air pressure there and refreshing the air inside the ear. However, certain conditions, such as allergies or respiratory infections, can cause the eustachian tubes to become blocked. When that happens, they are unable to provide proper ventilation to the middle ear and fluids can build up.
There are several different ear conditions that might require the use of ear tubes. They include:
- Frequent ear infections (particularly of the middle ear)
- Excessive fluid buildup behind the eardrum
- Hearing loss or speech problems in young children
- Chronic ear infection resulting in a torn or punctured eardrum
For individuals struggling with fluid build up and poor ventilation in the middle ear, ear tubes are used to create an opening for air and fluids to move through once again. Ear tubes are small, hollow tubes, or cylinders, typically made from metal or plastic. The ear tubes are placed in the eardrum through a simple surgical procedure. In many cases, the ear tubes will fall out on their own within several months after the ear problems have been resolved. If you have ear tubes, your doctor at ENTLC can tell if they’ve fallen out on their own or require surgical removal.
Ear tubes can provide immense relief for children and adults suffering from chronic ear problems. For more information about ear tubes and how they can help you, contact the ear, nose and throat specialists at (606) 759-4852!