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Pediatric Chronic Ear Disease Treatment Information
Ear infections are often the result of a cold. Simply waiting a few days gives your child’s body time to overcome the infection.
When earaches happen often, we may start treating with antibiotics. However, earaches can be caused by conditions other than otitis media. Before we use an antibiotic, we want to be certain the earache is caused by an infection that will respond to this type of drug.
Going to different physicians for earaches may result in your child being overmedicated. Frequent use of standard antibiotics may allow the bacteria that cause otitis media to become resistant to these drugs. When that happens, we need to use stronger antibiotics that may have more serious side effects.
If your child has frequently recurring ear infections despite the use of antibiotics, we may perform a minor surgical procedure that is usually very effective. In this procedure, we place ventilation or tympanostomy tubes (tiny tubes placed inside your child’s eustachian tubes) to drain fluid from the ear and allow air to pass freely in and out of the middle ear. Sometimes the eardrum forces the ventilation tubes out of place and we need to replace them with new tubes. Placing ventilation tubes is the most common procedure we perform at IU Health. Our experience and expertise are unmatched.
Ventilation tubes are not permanent. We usually leave them in for six to 18 months to allow time for complete healing of your child’s chronic ear infection. After we remove the tubes, the infection should not recur. Most of the time this procedure is successful, but in about 20 percent of children we need to put tubes in again.
Pediatric Chronic Ear Disease Locations & Physicians
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Pediatric Chronic Ear Disease Support Services
You want the best outcome for your child. Educating yourself about the causes of otitis media and its effects on your child may help you work more effectively with your physician.
A Sampling of Pediatric Chronic Ear Disease Support Services
American Academy of Otolaryngologists
This professional organization provides education for patients about a wide variety of topics, including ear infections and ventilation tubes.
MedlinePlus: Acute Ear Infections
This National Institutes of Health website features information about acute ear infections and links to resources that may help you better understand this condition.
MedilnePlus: Chronic Ear Infections
This National Institutes of Health website hosts information about chronic ear infection, a condition related to chronic acute ear infections.