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Tubes for ears?

I have been posting about my 15 mo old son, who seems to be sick constantly. It turns out when the dr finally listened to me (NOT his usual doctor, either) and looked it up, we've been to the dr twice a month average for at least the last year. Many of those visits were ear infection diagnoses, which they treated with more antibiotics. We are going to a specialist, and the dr we saw on Friday believes it could be a) ear problems, which would call for tubes b) an immune disorder or something of that sort or 3) allergies. B and C seem pretty vague to me, but I know a ton of kids on here have had to have tubes.
What are tubes, and why do they need them?
How do they work?
Does it require surgery?

Answer Question

Asked by sweetphoenix529 at 1:11 AM on Nov. 23, 2009 in Kids' Health

Level 6 (139 Credits)
Answers (9)
  • I was told I needed them recently by an ENT. It's an in office, short procedure, no issue. It allows the ears to drain when they become infected. W/O tubes, the ears back up, can rupture the eardrum and infection is harder to clear and you become more prone to getting infections. It's pretty standard, don't worry about it. It could really make things better for him!

    Answer by jeanclaudia at 1:13 AM on Nov. 23, 2009

  • what she said ^

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:28 AM on Nov. 23, 2009

  • Having tubes put in is surgery. They are knocked out, tubes are inserted into the ear drums so the crud behind the ears can drain. I've NEVER heard of it being done in an office!

    Tubes are sometimes a necessity. My middle boy had an ear infection with every cold he had as a baby/toddler. Tubes were briefly mentioned, however, because the infection always cleared up they weren't necessary. We were told tubes become a necessity when infections don't clear all the way with antibiotics.

    Answer by TiccledBlue at 10:38 AM on Nov. 23, 2009

  • Tubes require an outpatient visit to a location where they do surgery. My daughter had hers done at Neumors Children's hospital. They put them to sleep, make a tiny inscission in the ear drum and insert tiny tubes. The tubes allow fluid to drain thus releasing pressure and pain on the ear drum, allowing for better hearing and preventing some future ear infections. My daughter was 2 when she got hers and the number of infections had dropped greatly. She spoke volumes more the day she had the procedure, too! They also removed her adenoids becuase they felt allergies were contributing as well (allergies cause the adenoids to swell and prevent drainage). Allergies can also contibute to ear infections by blocking the sinus tubes and swelling them preventing drainage. It might be worth checking into alleriges first to see if a change in diet may help.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:44 AM on Nov. 23, 2009

  • My son (5) has had 4 sets of ear tubes and my daughter (2) is on her 3rd set. Yes, it requires surgery but it was no big deal AT ALL amd both my kids were back to themselves within ours of surgery. They both had their adenoids out with their 2nd set of tubes.

    TUBES DO NOT CUT DOWN THE AMOUNT OF INFECTIONS so please dont think this will be a miracle cure. What it will do will allow the fluid to drain so that their is no pain associated with the pressure on the ear drum. And it allows for treating the infections with ear drops instead of forcing meds into your childs digestive system. People will tell you that infections cut down but I my kids have seen 5 different ENT's and I believe that people think their kids have fewer infections because there is no pain from pressure on their ears anymore so they dont realize there is an infection.

    Answer by Jaydin_Makenna at 11:51 AM on Nov. 23, 2009

  • -- some general info.

    To PP: Tubes *CAN* cut down on the amount of infections. Doesn't mean it will, but it generally helps. The infections are cuased by bacterial growth in the fluid. If the fluid is allowed to drain, there is less chance of the bacterial growth. Yes, it's not a sure thing, but many kids really do have a decrease in ear infections that they would have had otherwise.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:25 PM on Nov. 23, 2009

  • my neighbor boy had it done (tubes in ears) and was out playing in 2 days :) so if you have to get it done, know it isnt that bad!

    Answer by AmaliaD at 1:44 PM on Nov. 23, 2009

  • Tubes can cut down on ear infections, a lot. My friends son had tubes because of numerous infections. After the tubes, he had NONE. His speech was better because he could HEAR properly. His balanace was better and he could hear without someone having to shout for him to hear. It is a quick proecedure and the kids I know that get tubes are in school/day care the same day.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 8:57 PM on Nov. 23, 2009

  • DD had it done at 21/2yrs. It turned out great. Her infections were so bad when we went to the ent her hearing didn't even register on their machine. It was so bad. Children have to be put under anesthesia because they have to hold very still to have it done. My BIL just has it done in the office. The surgery took 5 minutes, then we had to wait for her to wake up and make sure everything was okay after being put under. We went home and she took a 4 hour nap and was up bouncing around like we hadn't seen her do in 9 months. She only had an ear infection 1 or 2 times after having them put in and we could tell by seeing green discharge draining from her ear. We just gave her ear drops for it.


    Answer by Jadegirl1819 at 11:08 PM on Nov. 24, 2009

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