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Ear Tubes

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INSTRUCTIONS TO PATIENTS WHO WILL HAVE TUBES PLACED THROUGH THEIR EARDRUMS

You will have an opening made in your eardrum through which the doctor will place a small plastic or metal tube. The purpose of this tube is to permit air to reach the middle ear cavity which is located behind your eardrum.

It is important that water or dirt not get through the tube into the middle ear space; therefore, the doctor specifically requests that you do not swim while the tubes are in place and that you take extra precautions when you wash your hair or shower to AVOID getting water into the ear. Please protect your ears with silicone ear “putty” or custom soft ear molds (Ask our office).

From time to time, there may be a small amount of drainage present in the ear canal that comes through the tube. If this drainage should become purulent (pus-like) please call the office for an appointment, or begin using ear drops, from your family doctor or pediatrician.

The presence of a tube should in no way cause pain. If ear pain develops, please call for an appointment.

If the tubes have been placed in conjunction with a tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy, you may expect the pain in the throat to be referred to the ear. The discomfort may last for about one week. After one week, or so, the pain will resolve.

The doctor permits these tubes to fall out by themselves. Tubes usually remain in place from six to twenty-four months.