Continuous Ear Infection

Q: “Our toddler seems to have continuous ear infections, and the pediatrician has recommended tubes be placed in his ears. Is this common?”

A: When ear infections are frequent and do not clear up easily, or if a child has a hearing loss or speech delay due to ear infections, tympanostomy tubes are sometimes placed in the eardrums to ventilate the area behind the eardrum and keep the pressure equalized in the middle ear.

The tubes help prevent infection and the accumulation of fluid, and normalize hearing. In 6 to 18 months, as the child grows, the tiny tubes tend to fall out, although they may need to be removed by your doctor.

This procedure is performed for at least 1 million U.S. children every year.

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