Children often experience middle ear infections after a cold, sore throat, or other bacterial infection in the upper body. The middle ear is a small pocket of air found behind the eardrum designed to fight germs by filling with pus. Generally this fluid drains out of the Eustachian tube, which connects the middle ear to the throat. When the Eustachian tube has an obstruction, or is simply too small, the fluid builds up in the middle ear, causing an ear infection. Ear infections are very uncomfortable and painful, so Douglas Anderson, an ENT specialist in Utah, offers ear tubes via the tympanostomy procedure, as well as myringotomy.
Children have very small Eustachian tubes, so it is common for children between the ages of six months and five years to have at least one middle ear infection.
Symptoms of a Middle Ear Infection
- Hearing loss
- Rubbing or pulling the ears
- Irritability and fussiness
- Fluid leaking out from the ear
- Dramatic change in appetite or sleeping patterns
Many lifestyle and environmental factors can increase a child’s risk of ear infection, including taking a bottle to bed, exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke, or group childcare or daycare centers. To qualify for ear tubes, your child must experience three or more middle ear infections within one year, or show signs of delayed speech and hearing loss.
How It Works
Ear tube surgery, also known as tympanostomy, is a routine procedure for Douglas Anderson, MD at Ogden Clinic, with most surgeries lasting no more than ten minutes. During the procedure, the doctor will insert pressure equalization tubes into the eardrum, which will ventilate the middle ear while balancing out the pressure. Ear tubes will also prevent future buildup and infections and normalize hearing. Ear tubes will generally remain in place for six to eighteen months, depending on the age of the child and the type of tube used.
Is your child suffering from recurrent middle ear infections? They may be a candidate for ear tube tympanostomy with Douglas Anderson in Ogden.