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Ear Tubes May Not Have Long-Term Benefits for Kids with Ear Infection

Ear Infection

Story at-a-glance -

  • Ear tubes are sometimes recommended to help prevent short-term hearing loss in children with chronic ear infections, which potentially could cause developmental problems
  • The surgical placement of ear tubes in children with chronic ear infections showed no evidence of long-term benefit for speech or academic development
  • Side effects were common in ears with tubes, including ear discharge and calcification of tissue in the middle ear, which can lead to hearing loss
  • Adenoidectomy, a procedure often done at the same time as ear tube placement, also carried a risk of harm, including an increased risk of postsurgical hemorrhage

By Dr. Mercola

Middle ear infection, or otitis media, is one of the most common childhood afflictions, impacting up to 90 percent of children at least once before the age of 10. In most cases, ear infections clear up easily on their own and pose little long-term consequences.

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