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Why are ear tubes used to treat ear infections?

ANSWER

It depends on your child’s history with infections. Your doctor might suggest tubes if your child gets a lot of them, meaning:

Your doctor may also talk to you about tubes if your child has a long-term problem and antibiotics haven’t helped. The other main reason is if your child has fluid build-up that causes hearing loss, even if there’s no infection.

  • Three or more in six months
  • Four or more in a year

SOURCES:

American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery: “Ear Tubes.”

Mayo Clinic: “Ear infection (middle ear),” “Ear Tubes.”

NIH, National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, “Ear Infections in Children.”

Reviewed by Dan Brennan on August 1, 2018

SOURCES:

American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery: “Ear Tubes.”

Mayo Clinic: “Ear infection (middle ear),” “Ear Tubes.”

NIH, National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, “Ear Infections in Children.”

Reviewed by Dan Brennan on August 1, 2018

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How do ear tubes help for ear infections?

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