The American Academy of Otolaryngology refers to ear infections as a right
of passage for children. Ear infections are common in younger children,
most having experienced at least one ear infection by the age of five.
There are two types of ear infections: viral and bacterial. Viral infections
tend to resolve on their own, while bacterial infections are treated with
“For a person that encounters recurring ear infections tympanostomy
tubes are recommended to allow drainage of infection,” said Jim
Fox, PA-C at Catawba Valley Family Medicine of Catawba.
Tympanostomy tubes (ear tubes) are are tiny cylinders placed through the
ear drum (tympanic membrane). Inserting a tympanostomy tube requires an
outpatient surgical procedure that lasts less than 15 minutes and in certain
circumstances a person may require general anesthetic with which they
awaken quickly. This procedure involves creating a tiny incision in the
tympanic membrane, removing the fluid trapped behind the ear drum and
insetting an ear tube to prevent the incision from closing to allow air
into the middle ear.
“After surgery, the patient feels little to no pain and any hearing
loss caused by fluid in the middle ear is immediately resolved. The treating
physician will provide any specific postoperative instructions to insure
a healthy recovery,” said Jim Fox.
If your child shows symptoms of an ear infection or has experienced reoccurring
ear infections that are not resolved with antibiotics you should consult
your Catawba Valley Family Medicine physician. To schedule an appointment
at Catawba Valley Family Medicine – Catawba, located at 200 Rosenwald
School St. in Catawba, NC 28609, please call 828.241.2377.