P.E. (Pressure equalization) Tubes
Ear infections and/or fluid in the middle ear may become a chronic problem leading to other issues such as hearing loss, behavior, and speech problems. In these cases, insertion of an ear tubes may be considered.
Ear tubes are often recommended when a person experiences repeated middle ear infection or has hearing loss caused by the persistent presence of middle ear fluid. These conditions most commonly occur in children, but can also be present in teens and adults and can lead to speech and balance problems, hearing loss, or changes in the structure of the ear drum.
Each year, more than half a million ear tube surgeries are performed on children, making it the most common childhood surgery performed with anesthesia. The average age of ear tube insertion is one to three years old. The benefits of ear tubes include:
- The reduced risk of future ear infection
- The restoration of hearing loss caused by middle ear fluid,
- The improvement of speech problems and balance problems
- The improvement in behavior and sleep problems caused by chronic ear infections.