Ear infections aren’t just painful for children, they can also result in permanent hearing damage as well as behavioral and speech problems. If your child has suffered four or more ear infections in the past six months, or fluid blocking his or her hearing for more than three months, then antibiotics are only a short-term fix. But an ear tube is a simple procedure that offers both respite from pain and a long-term solution.
A microscopic opening is created in the eardrum, the offending fluid is suctioned out, and a small cylindrical tube is carefully buttoned into the opening. The tube allows air to reach the middle ear space, preventing the painful build up of fluid that causes blockages and infections.
Ear tubes are the most common procedure performed on children in the United States, with around 700,000 surgeries every year. The painless procedure is performed under anesthesia and takes only two to three minutes. Children can go home about 15 minutes after they wake up, with immediate improvements in comfort and hearing.
Michael Armstrong, MD.
founded Richmond ENT in 2001. A native of Richmond, he trained at Johns Hopkins Hospital and has been in practice since 1995. Board-certified in both otolaryngology and in facial plastic surgery, he provides comprehensive treatment of nasal, sinus and allergic disorders, including cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. He is a leader in the development of office-based surgical treatments for sinusitis, such as Balloon Sinuplasty. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy.