What is an Ear Tube?
Ear tube procedure is performed in cases of recurrent middle ear infections or fluid accumulation in the middle ear that causes hearing loss. The ear tube is a small thread spool-shaped device that is placed in the eardrum and equalizes the middle ear pressure with the external environment pressure. In acute infections that cause fluid accumulation in the middle ear, drug treatment is first administered. If it does not pass, treatment is provided by opening small holes on the membrane. These holes opened on the membrane usually close spontaneously within 1-2 weeks. However, since the changes in the middle ear mucosa in chronic middle ear fluid accumulation do not heal in a short time, ear tubes are used to prevent the holes opened on the membrane from being closed.
In what cases are ear tubes inserted?
- In recurrent acute middle ear infections
- Middle ear fluids where medical treatment does not help
- In case of eardrum collapse
- Barolateral traumas that occur during flight or diving
- If the eardrum or eustachian tube does not develop properly, an ear tube procedure may be performed.
Benefits of Ear Tubes
- Drains middle ear fluid
- Reduces middle ear infections
- Increases hearing level
- Reduces the risk of reoccurring otitis media
- Corrects speech and balance problems caused by middle ear infection
How to Insert Ear Tubes?
With the help of a microscope, the external ear canal is entered and the eardrum is drawn. After performing this procedure, called paracentesis, the fluid in the middle ear is removed. With the help of special tools, a tube is placed in the drawn area, with one end in the outer ear and the other end in the middle ear. The inserted tube does not cause any visible changes in the patient's ear.
How to Remove Ear Tubes? When Does It Drop?
The ear tube usually falls out on its own within 2-12 months. This period may vary for each person. Sometimes it may fall before the expected time. If it has not decreased within the prescribed time, the physician may order the fluid in the patient's ear to be removed depending on its condition. The important point is that the tube falls out after the middle ear heals.
Things to Consider After Ear Tube Surgery
The process after ear tube surgery is not a process that will cause any distress to the patient. The patient should be careful not to get water into his ear. The reason for this is the risk of water causing inflammation. You can use Vaseline cotton wool applied in the bath to protect the ear from water. If there is inflammation and it starts to flow, it is necessary to consult a physician. Apart from this, the patient can continue his normal life. It is necessary to go to a doctor's examination every 2-3 months.