There is one condition that all children have to face at some point during their youth, and that’s ear infections. Almost every child has had their first experience with this painful condition by age 5, and often have faced multiple recurrences, though most of these infections will either resolve on their own (in the case of viral ear infections) or with antibiotics (in the case of bacterial infections). In cases where these infections become chronic, hearing loss, speech problems, and behavioral issues may result. In those cases where these conditions exist, an Khavkin Clinic can be called upon to insert myringotomy tubes.
What Are Myringotomy Tubes?
Myringotomy Tubes, also known as ear tubes, are small tubes that are inserted through the eardrum to permit the passage of air into the middle ear. These ear tubes are coated with a material to prevent infections from forming and are available in both long-term and short-term varieties. Short term ear tubes typically fall out on their own, while long-term tubes have flanges to help hold them in place for a longer period. While long-term tubes can fall out on their own, an otolaryngologist may be required in some cases.
Why Are Myringotomy Tubes Used?
In those cases where middle ear infections occur on a regular basis, or hearing loss has occurred as a result of the ongoing presence of fluid in the middle ear, ear tubes may be used to aid in the prevention of further complications associated with these concerns. Ongoing complications from these conditions can result in speech problems, loss of hearing, alterations to the eardrums structure, and problems with balance. While these are the most common reasons ear tubes are used, they may also be necessary in cases of:
- Down Syndrome
- Cleft Palate
- Barotrauma (Middle ear injuries resulting from sudden pressure changes)
- Malformed Eustachian Tube or Ear Drum
Over 500,000 surgeries for implanting ear tubes are performed every year, the majority of them on children. This makes it one of the most common surgeries involving anesthesia used on children ages one to three. Children receiving myringotomy tubes may benefit in the following ways:
- Lower chance of future ear infections
- Hearing loss from fluid in the inner ear may be restored
- Speech and balance problems may be resolved
- Sleep and behavioral problems may improve if caused by inner ear infections
What Do I Need To Know About The Myringotomy Procedure?
The patient may be placed under general anesthesia, especially in the case of young children, though older patients may be able to have the procedure performed without anesthetic. One the opening for the tubes have been created, the fluid in the middle ear will be removed by suction and the tubes put in place. The patient will be monitored for an hour or two following the procedure, and if no complications are observed will be released to go home. Irritability, grogginess, and nausea from the anesthesia are the most common complaints following the procedure.
If you think you or your child may benefit from a myringotomy, contact Dr. Yevgeniy Khavkin, your pain management doctor in Las Vegas, NV for a consultation.