Monday, December 4, 2023

Can Adults Get Tubes For Ear Infections

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How Do Ent Providers Insert An Ear Tube

Can Adults Get Ear Infections?

The team at ENT Specialists inserts ear tubes, called a myringotomy and tympanostomy procedure, under general anesthesia either in the office or at the hospitals theyre affiliated with, depending on the patients needs.

The procedure, which takes about 15 minutes , begins by removing any wax and debris from the ear canal and examining the eardrum.

Then your doctor from ENT Specialists makes a small incision in the eardrum, removes fluid from the middle ear, and inserts an ear tube into the incision. The tube usually falls out on its own 6-18 months after its insertion.

If you or your child suffers from recurrent ear infections or fluid buildup, call ENT Specialists or schedule an appointment online.

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So We Should Not Insert Cotton Swabs Into Our Ears To Try To Clean Them Or Remove Earwax Right

Dr. Wang: Correct. Use of Q-Tips can cause not only outer ear infections, but also trauma of the ear canal or eardrum, which can affect hearing and cause other types of infection and ear pain. Also, part of the swab can break off, leaving a foreign body in your ear that needs to be removed. It’s a common reason for ER visits, actually. If you feel you have a buildup of ear wax, I recommend applying a tissue or soft thin cloth to your finger and wiping gently around the entrance to the ear. There are also over-the-counter ear wax removal kits from Debrox® that are safe to use, when used as directed.

Who Gets The Surgery

Both adults and children can get an ear tube insertion, but it tends to be more common in the latter. An ear tube placement is necessary because bacteria goes from the nasal cavity to the ear during a cold or some other form of respiratory ailment. Bacteria entering the ear is dangerous because it will lead to inflammation and cause a buildup of fluid behind the eardrum. Children suffer from ear infections more often than adults because they have smaller eustachian tubes that can clog easily.

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Muffled Hearing After The Ear Tube Surgery

The muffled hearing is a common side-effect of the middle ear infection itself. The hearing is muffled because there is fluid build-up due to either inflammation or swelling of the middle ear and eardrum. It might take a few days for the inserted ear tube to drain the fluid so that the muffled hearing would finally go away. Even if you did not struggle with a muffled hearing before the surgery itself, it is very common to deal with it when it is done.

What Are The Most Common Reasons For Ear Tubes In Adults

Adult Ear Infections: Types, Treatments and Preventive ...

The most common reason for ear tubes in adults is a dysfunction of the Eustachian tubes, called barotrauma. The condition is caused by unequal air pressure behind the eardrum and outside of the ear, which causes pain. Another reason is repeated ear infections, although this is more common for children. Ear infections can be caused by viruses or bacteria and the buildup of fluid in the ear canal. Ear tubes are tiny, hollow cylinders inserted into the eardrum to allow air into the middle ear, and the procedure is done during outpatient surgery that lasts about 10 to 15 minutes.

Eustachian tube dysfunction is pressure-related pain caused by a significant difference in air pressure inside and outside the ear. The condition prevents the tube from opening as it normally would when swallowing or yawning, so air cannot flow in and out of the middle ear. Ear tube surgery might be recommended for the condition if decongestants or antibiotics are ineffective or if the person is going to be flying. Inserting these tubes allows air to flow in and out of the middle ear to equalize the pressure.

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Ents And Allergy Clinics Located In Salt Lake City Ut Murray Ut Tooele Ut Draper Ut & West Jordan Ut

Ear tube insertion is the most common surgical procedure performed in children in the United States. Its not as common, but adults sometimes need ear tubes as well. The experienced physicians at ENT Specialists in Salt Lake City, Murray, Draper, Tooele, and West Jordan, Utah, have extensive experience inserting ear tubes either in the office or hospital. If you or your child suffers from middle ear infections and youd like to learn more about ear tubes, call one of the offices or schedule an appointment online.

Ear Tubes Side Effects: What Are Risks And Complications Of Ear Tubes

While ear tube surgery is common, minor complications can occur in up to half of the children who have them inserted. Complications include:

  • Failure to resolve the ear infections.
  • Thickening of the eardrum over time, which affects hearing in a small percentage of patients.
  • Persistent perforation after the tube falls out of the eardrum.
  • Chronic ear drainage.

In most situations, the surgery is performed as an outpatient , at either the hospital or an outpatient surgery center. An anesthesiologist will monitor your child throughout the procedure. Usually, the anesthesiologist reviews the medical history before surgery. If your doctor has ordered preoperative laboratory studies, arrange to have these done several days in advance.

If your child is old enough to understand what surgery is, be honest and up front as you explain the upcoming surgery. A calming and reassuring attitude will greatly ease your child’s anxiety. Most children will feel better having had the pressure relieved in their ears.

Your child must not eat or drink anything 6 to 12 hours prior to their time of surgery this includes even water or chewing gum. Anything in the stomach increases the chances of an anesthetic complication.

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What Happens After Ear Tube Surgery

The patient will spend some time in the recovery room after ear tube surgery. He or she may have some side effects from the surgery and anesthesia, including grogginess and nausea.

The patient will see the doctor again after the surgery to make sure the tube remains in the eardrum and is working correctly. The surgeon may prescribe antibiotic ear drops to prevent infection in the ear. In addition, the surgeon may recommend that the child wear ear plugs during certain activities, such as swimming and showering.

The eardrum usually closes around the ear tube to keep it in place and prevent it from falling out early. The ear tubes will usually fall out in nine to 18 months. If the tubes do not fall out within two years, the surgeon may have to remove them.

How Ear Tubes Work


Ears have natural ventilation through your eustachian tubes — narrow tubes that run from your middle ear to high in the back of your throat. The side of the tube in your throat opens and closes in order to:

  • Stabilize air pressure
  • Refresh the air in your ear
  • Drain fluid

When swelling or mucus keeps natural ventilation from working, ear tubes act as a small window for your ear. They provide an alternative way to help air flow into and out of the ear, which keeps pressure even and helps the ear drain better.

With better airflow, fluid wonât build up and bacteria wonât have such a friendly home.

If your child has hearing loss from fluid buildup, it goes away as soon as the tubes are in. For delays in development, youâll likely see improvement in the weeks and months ahead.

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Who Needs Ear Tubes And Why

Ear tubes may be recommended when someone experiences repeated middle ear infection , or has hearing loss caused by persistent middle ear fluid that dont get better. These conditions most commonly occur in children, but can also be present in teens and adults, and can lead to speech and balance problems, hearing loss, poor school performance, or changes in the structure of the ear drum.

Other less common conditions that may warrant the placement of ear tubes are malformation of the ear drum or eustachian tube, Down syndrome, cleft palate, and barotrauma .

Each year, more than half a million ear tube surgeries are performed on children, making it the most common childhood surgery performed with anesthesia. The average age for ear tube insertion is one- to three-years-old. Inserting ear tubes may:

  • Reduce the risk of future ear infection
  • Restore hearing loss caused by middle ear fluid
  • Improve speech problems and balance problems
  • Improve behavior and sleep problems caused by repetitive ear infections
  • Help children do their best in school

When To See A Doctor

Ear infections can go away on their own in many cases, so a minor earache may not be a worry.

A doctor should typically be seen if symptoms have not improved within 3 days. If new symptoms occur, such as a fever or loss of balance, a doctor should be seen immediately.

Any sign of discharge coming from the ear would also require a visit to the doctor.

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Any Other Words Of Advice For Adults Regarding Ear Infections

Dr. Wang: Do not stick anything in your ears! Also, if you have diabetes, be very careful with ear infections. They might be much more persistent, painful and treatment resistant. If this happens to you, really prioritize getting your blood sugar under control, because that can greatly affect your body’s ability to shake the infection.

Dilation Of The Eustachian Tube

What Is Ear Tube Surgery?

More recently, Dilation of the eustachian tube using balloon catheter has gained attention as a method of treating eustachian tube obstruction. There are two methods of performing this procedure depending on the route of the catheter introduction and the area of the Eustachian tube to be dilated. Dennis Poe have popularized the transnasal introduction and the dilation of the nose side of the eustachian tube. Muaaz Tarabichi pioneered the transtympanic introduction of the balloon catheter and the dilatation of the proximal part of the cartilaginous eustachian tube.

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How Are Outer Ear Infections Treated

Dr. Wang: Most ENT doctors and primary care physicians will prescribe antibiotic ear drops only. Typically, oral antibiotics are not necessary, and we like to avoid overprescribing them so they continue to work when we actually need them. Occasionally, the opening of the ear may be too inflamed or sticky to get the drops in, so we have to stick a little wick in there to get the drops where they need to go. The provider may prescribe oral antibiotics if the outer ear infection is really severe.

What Are The Side Effects Of Getting Tubes In Your Ears

Nearly all children have at least one ear infection by the time they are 5. On the other hand, if they occur over and over or the child is having hearing loss due to fluid buildup, the specialist might suggest ear tubes.

So, before discussing the side effects of getting ear tubes. Lets discuss Ear Tube Insertion.

If you need more information or you have a question regarding Ear Tube Insertion Side Effects or Hearing Loss, you can discuss it with our HearingSol healthcare professionals, just give us a call on +91-9899437202. We are always here to help you.

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How Do Ear Tubes Work

Ear tubes are small tubes that are inserted into a child’s eardrum to equalize pressure across the eardrum and allow infection to escape from the middle ear space behind the eardrum. The middle ear is the area of the ear most likely to experience infections.

“Young children are at risk for ear infections because their eustachian tubes and immune systems are immature,” explains Christopher Liu, M.D., Pediatric Otolaryngologist at Children’s Health and Assistant Professor at UT Southwestern. “Ear tubes allow for the treatment of ear infections with ear drops alone.”

Ear tubes can also be used to help children who experience hearing loss due to fluid build-up, even if they don’t experience ear infections.

Protection Through Ear Tubes

Chronic Ear Infections

Adults may be greater impacted by ear infections since the condition may affect the quality of life. If the medicine fails, myringotomy is best. These tiny tubes have a secondary function. The ventilation provided by ear tubes keeps the air in the middle ear refreshed. Tubes also equalize the pressure inside the ear with the air pressure outside the body and provide drainage that prevents fluid buildup in the ear. If the air is causing pain and discomfort at any age, speak with a doctor immediately.

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Learn How Many Ear Infections Warrant Ear Tube Surgery And Find Answers To Other Common Ear Tube Questions

Ear tubes are one of the most common surgeries young children undergo. Around 500,000 children of all ages receive ear tubes every year to help fight ear infections as their ears grow and mature.

But just because ear tubes are common doesn’t mean all children will need them. Learn more about ear tubes and find out if they are right for your child.

Time For A Myringotomy

Myringotomy is one of the possible treatments for an ear infection if the patient does not respond to the medical treatments. This procedure can also acquire sample fluid from the middle ear or place ear tubes. Looking through a microscope, the doctor makes a tiny incision in the eardrum. Then, the doctor drains any trapped fluid from the middle ear. Afterward, the ear tube will be inserted and left in place. Myringotomies are minimally invasive and last about 20 minutes, meaning the patient can go home soon afterward.

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Earaches In Adults: What You Need To Know

Been a while since you woke up with a sharp, stabbing earache? Such a distant memory you don’t even know where to find a heating pad like the one your mom used to carefully apply to the side of your face?

Consider yourself lucky but not necessarily off the hook. Although ear infections are more common among children, some 20% occur in adults. Bad news for those of us who thought we had outgrown that phase for good. But the good news is, for the most part, there are easy ways to fix the problem, and even easier ways to avoid the common mistakes that can land even the most responsible adults in the reclining chair of an ear, nose and throat doctor .

Luckily, Dr. Brian Wang, an ENT doctor at Houston Methodist, is here to answer all of our burning questions about the types of ear problems that most frequently occur in adults.

When To Treat Chronic Ear Infections


Your doctor might take a wait-and-see approach. Often, a typical infection goes away on its own, especially if itâs from a virus. Sometimes your child needs antibiotics to kill infections caused by bacteria.

But some kids just get a lot of ear infections and sometimes they donât clear up very easily. Usually, it doesnât cause long-term problems, but frequent ones can lead to:

  • Delays in learning speech and developing social skills
  • Infection that spreads to other parts of the head
  • Tears, or holes, in the eardrum

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Whats The Procedure For Ear Tube Insertion

For the insertion, an otolaryngologist places tiny plastic or metal tubes in the eardrum. Once inside the ear, these tubes will:

  • Reduce pressure. Ear infections and fluid buildup increase pressure inside the ear, which is what causes pain. Ear tubes allow air to enter the ear, equalizing the pressure between the inner ear and the outside world. This eases pain and helps prevent accumulation of liquid in the middle ear.
  • Drain fluid. Ear tubes allow pus and mucus buildup from ear infections to drain out of the ear without causing pain or increasing the risk of related complications.
  • Prepare the ear for treatment drops. Tubes also make it easier to use antibiotic drops in the ears to treat infections. The tubes function as a passageway, permitting the drops to travel directly into the ear. Because they make antibiotic drops easier to use, the tubes can eliminate the need for oral antibiotic treatment.

Ear tube insertion, also called myringotomy and tympanostomy tube placement, is a very common procedure performed under general anesthesia. During the procedure, the patient is asleep and breathing on their own. The surgical team monitors heart rate, blood pressure, and blood oxygen throughout the surgery.

The actual surgery takes only about 10 to 15 minutes. During this time, the surgeon performs the following steps:

Ear tube insertion is a common and safe procedure. On rare occasions, however, complications may occur. Check with your doctor if you:

How Many Ear Infections Before Tubes Are Recommended

While ear tubes are not medically necessary, they can help relieve the pain of middle ear infections and make those infections easier to manage.

Your child’s doctor may recommend ear tubes if your child has:

  • Hearing loss due to fluid build-up or
  • More than 3 ear infections in 6 months or
  • More than 4 ear infections in a year

Your child does not have to be a particular age for ear tubes. They may be infants or teens and still benefit from ear tubes.

But not all parents choose ear tubes for their children.

“It depends on the costs and benefits for each individual child,” says Dr. Liu. “If parents don’t like the idea of surgery and would rather wait for their child to grow out of ear infections, that is a reasonable approach as long as there are no other risk factors such as speech delay.”

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