A cold or some other upper respiratory infection can cause the eustachian tubes to swell, blocking the normal drainage from the middle ear. The fluid buildup can lower your or your child's ability to hear. And the warm, moist environment makes it easy for bacteria and viruses to grow, causing an ear infection.
Incision made in the eardrum
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slide 2 of 4, Incision made in the eardrum,
A small cut (incision) is made in the eardrum to allow fluid to drain.
Fluid draining through the incision
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slide 3 of 4, Fluid draining through the incision,
Fluid from the middle ear drains through the incision into the ear canal and is suctioned out by the doctor.
Ear tube placed
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slide 4 of 4, Ear tube placed,
The temporary tube is inserted into the eardrum incision to prevent future fluid buildup.
Current as ofOctober 21, 2018
Author: Healthwise Staff Susan C. Kim MD - Pediatrics Thomas M. Bailey MD - Family Medicine Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine Charles M. Myer III MD - Otolaryngology John Pope MD - Pediatrics
Medical Review:Susan C. Kim MD - Pediatrics & Thomas M. Bailey MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Charles M. Myer III MD - Otolaryngology & John Pope MD - Pediatrics