As a child, you remember the uncomfortable times when you used to get ear infections, especially if they were an after-0effect of going a respiratory infection. Thing is, you are not alone.
Ear infections are among the most common infections that occur in children. The good news is that children will outgrow these problems as long as proper medical management is done. However, for some of them, the pain becomes too much to handle – and they need ear tubes to relieve the recurring infections.
Even though this option may seem like a life-saver, many parents are skeptical, asking questions whether they actually help or do more damage to their children’s ears. You may be among the many that is in doubt, and that belief may lead to you refusing any surgical procedures on your child. For this reason, we have gone ahead to debunk various myths on ear tubes, so read on to find out.
- Top 6 Myths About Ear Tubes
- Final Thoughts
Top 6 Myths About Ear Tubes
№1. You Will Never Get an Ear Infection
Many parents seem to think that when their child gets ear tubes, the infections will never happen again – something that still happens, and they may wonder why.
The truth is, ear tubes are there to act as an ‘alternative route’ from the Eustachian tube, the tube that connects the middle ear to the throat. This gives air a path to enter the ear drum, therefore draining any fluids that are accumulating behind the ear drum to go to the ear canal. The tubes therefore make it easier to treat ear infections through using ear drops instead of oral antibiotics.
However, infections may still happen. That means you will need to address the root cause of ear infections in your child, and learn to manage them.
№2. Your Child will Always Require Ear Tubes
Many parents seem to think their will require ear tubes for the rest of their life once they get them – which may explain partly why they are hesitant to approve their installation.
However, up to 80 percent of kids who have ear tubes will not need them again once they outgrow recurring ear infections. As they grow older, their Eustachian tubes and immune systems mature, so they will not need them within a few years.
The kids who will require these tools after a certain age usually have other problems with their health, and they usually show signs of allergies more frequently, have enlarged adenoids, or have sinus infections. Other children who require these ear tubes are those with multiple structural changes in their face, such as those who have recently come out of cleft lip and palate surgery, and those that have persistent delayed development of their muscles or weakness, like those with Down’s syndrome.
№3. You Can Get Permanent Ear Tubes
You may think that your child will need a permanent set of ear tubes instead of purchasing ear tubes all the time. Well, there are no permanent ear tubes that exist.
All tubes have temporary usage, as they are meant to give the child time to mature their immune systems and Eustachian tubes. This will happen at different rates in different children, depending on other factors.
In fact, very few children will require a third set of tubes, unless they have severe allergies, structural changes or sinuses – since these impact the structure of the Eustachian tube significantly. However, even if they have severe health issues, ear tubes are meant to be temporary.
№4. The Child will Dislodge the Ear Tubes
It is normal to be worried about the possibility of your child injuring their ears because they stick their fingers in their ears, or forget the ear tubes are there are cause damage.
However, this is not possible, because ear tubes are located directly in the ear drum. This minimizes any possible damage, because the fingers cannot reach the ear drum.
In addition, they do not hurt once they are inserted, and they do not encourage kids to play more with their ears. In case their ears are disturbing them after insertion that is a matter you should take up with their ENT surgeon.
It is important to keep in mind that various issues can lead to a child having problems with ear pain, also called referred pain. That involves the pain in one part of the body being due to pain in another body part.
Kids are also able to go back to their normal activity one day after surgery, and these activities will not dislodge the ear tubes – these include running, contact sports, and jumping.
№5. The Child Needs Ear Tubes When They Go for Swimming or Bathing
You may think that a child cannot swim without wearing ear plugs, because the ear tubes cannot get wet. This myth is very popular, yet it remains controversial – because it makes more sense that you need to keep water out of your ears.
Research disputes this assumption though – water in the ears does not guarantee you will get other ear infections. There many reports that state children should avoid swimming in this water, but the belief is not true.
The best thing to do is ask your child’s doctor for advice, as different children have different treatments. Based on the clinical judgment, the doctor will know what to do – unless they have recommended ear plugs, always ask them about what is happening with your child.
№6. Using Tubes Leads to Hearing Loss
To understand how ear tubes work, you need to know why they are there in the first place,apart of that recognizes that they cannot cause hearing losses, so you have nothing to be afraid of.
A number of studies prove that ear tubes do not have any correlation with hearing loss, and they actually remove the problems of hearing loss due to fluid accumulation behind the eardrum. They actually help your child more than harming them.
Other than these, many parents understandably have concerns about their children getting ear tubes. However, many beliefs that parents hold are not true – your child stands to benefit more when they have them in place.