Ear tubes for recurrent ear infections


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — It’s cold and flu season in KELOLAND, which can sometimes lead to ear infections in kids.

With colder weather also comes cold and flu season, which can sometimes result in ear infections.
And if ear infections become frequent, ear, nose and throat surgeon Dr. Matt Weekly says ear tubes may be an option.

“There should be air behind your eardrum. When fluid builds up there, it causes two problems. One, it knocks out about a third of your hearing. And number two, if it gets infected, which fluid can in the middle ear, it’s very painful,” Weekly said.

He says tubes keep fluid from building up, and allow the pressure to remain normal in the ear.

“He had kind of chronic ear infections in the last year and a half, two years, fluid in his ears. Was just kind of struggling with sinus things,” Kasidy Schell said.

In October, Kasidy and Kyle Schell’s 9-year-old son Treyson underwent the procedure to have tubes placed.

Not only has his hearing improved, but his parents say the tubes have made a difference in overall wellbeing.

“He sleeps through the night now he doesn’t wake up congested and needing a Zyrtec every morning to kind of clear out his sinuses. His eyes aren’t so watery anymore. He’s just a lot healthier,” Kyle said.

Dr. Weekly says about 9 percent of U.S. kids end up with tubes, with them either coming out on their own in 1 to 2 years or being removed after about 3 years.

The procedure is quick, and comes with a quick recovery too.

“It’s a simple mask anesthetic. We don’t need to start IVs. Or put a breathing tube in, it takes about three to four minutes. It’s done under a microscope and there’s no pain afterwards,” Weekly said.

Adding that patients who get tubes are generally his happiest.

“It’s made a world of difference. He said he wished he would’ve done it sooner,” Kasidy said.

For more information about ear tubes, click here.

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