Recurrent ear infections are very common in the pediatric population. The child usually complains of ear pain, is irritable and has a fever. They will also have hearing loss. Little children are more likely to develop infections because of their anatomy, which changes as they age. Most children will develop at least one infection during their first year of life. These infections are generally treated with antibiotics and resolve without complications. Some children go on to develop recurrent infections or persistent fluid behind the eardrum which will decrease their hearing, as well as, affect their speech development. The American Academy of Otolaryngology recommends that tympanostomy tubes or “ear tubes” be considered when a child has fluid behind the eardrum following an ear infection that lasts for more than 3 months or when a child has been diagnosed with recurrent acute otitis media. Recurrent otitis media means that the child has 3 infections in 6 months or 4 infections in one year. Tympanostomy tube placement is a simple surgical procedure where a tiny tube is placed in the eardrum to equalize the pressure between the outside world and the middle ear space. The tubes are designed to stay in place for 6-18 months and then fall out. The hope is that by the time the tube falls out the child will have outgrown the problem. There are very few complications associated with this surgery and the recovery period is usually less than a day.
Dr. Jones is a board certified physician in otolaryngology who treats patients through both medical and surgical means. His services include ear care, hearing loss, sleep apnea, nasal endoscopy, laryngoscopy, chronic sinusitis, skin lesion removal, chronic throat hoarseness, and tonsillectomies. As part of Exodus Healthcare Network, he provides ear, nose and throat care to patients at their Magna and West Valley locations.
If you have further questions, concerns or want to talk with Dr. Jones about your healthcare needs, please call Exodus Healthcare Network at (801) 250-9638.