How do ear tubes treat bacterial ear infections?

If you have a bacterial infection in your middle ear, you probably have a build-up of fluid behind your ear drum. This fluid may not go away easily, even after the infection is eliminated. If fluid build-up lasts for three months or more, your doctor might recommend a myringotomy. A myringotomy is a minor surgical procedure where a surgeon makes very tiny holes in the eardrum and then places small tubes in the holes. These ear tubes help the middle ear be able to circulate pressurize air more normally and allow fluid to drain out of the ear. After half a year to a year, the tubes will usually fall out naturally without any additional surgery.
Picture of ear tubes

Continue Learning about Ear Disorders

Essential Facts About Ear Infections
Essential Facts About Ear Infections
While ear infections tend to affect kids—5 out of 6 children will experience this condition by the time they’re 3 years old—adults are not immune. And...
Read More
What is an ear infection?
Intermountain HealthcareIntermountain Healthcare
An ear infection happens when the inside of your ear gets stuffy, just like your nose. Your ear can ...
More Answers
What can cause bleeding from the ears?
National Athletic Trainers' AssociationNational Athletic Trainers' Association
A ruptured eardrum, foreign objects in the ear, and infections can cause bleeding of the ear. Other ...
More Answers
All About Ear Infections
All About Ear Infections

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.