It’s common for young children, especially those under the age of 5, to experience painful ear infections. Many viral infections resolve themselves and bacterial infections are cared for with antibiotics. However, chronic middle ear infections or fluid in the middle ear may lead to hearing loss or behavior and speech issues. In these cases, ear tubes may be recommended.
Ear tubes are small cylinders that are placed in a child’s ear drum to allow airflow to the middle ear. The tubes are made out of various materials and coated to reduce the risk of possible infection. There are two ear tube solutions: short term and long term. Short term tubes last approximately six months and fall out on their own, and long term tubes have flanges to secure them in place for an extended period of time.