Ear infections and fluid (otitis media and effusion) are very common problems in children age 6 months to 2 years. Older children are less likely to suffer from chronic ear infections; as they grow and develop, the immune system matures and the Eustachian tube opens allowing air into the middle ear.
Antibiotics have recently been proven to have little to no effect on acute ear infections and have no effect at all on fluid behind the eardrum. Although most ear infections and ear fluid improves over time, repeated infections and persistent ear fluid can lead to ear pain, fever, irritability, ear drainage and hearing loss.
Ear tubes (tympanostomy) are the most common outpatient procedure performed for children in the United States. Tubes allow air to enter the middle ear – usually preventing infections and return to normal hearing.
For more information about ear tubes, contact Northwest ENT Surgery Center at (877) 959-5087 or by filling out our contact form.