If your child already has tympanostomy tubes, you no doubt already know all about living with Middle Ear Infections. Unfortunately, middle ear infections may still occur even with tubes in place. Here is how Middle Ear Infections with Tubes may happen.
A common cold, allergies, or an upper respiratory infection can cause the inside of the eustachian tube to swell and become blocked. This prevents air from circulating and fluid from draining in the middle ear, allowing bacteria to grow. This can result in a Middle Ear Infection, also known as Acute Otitis Media (AOM)2.
A tympanostomy tube is a tiny cylinder that is inserted through the eardrum to create an airway into the middle ear. The tube can provide ventilation, prevent the buildup of fluids behind the eardrum, and equalize pressure in the ear3. Tubes are often recommended when someone experiences repeated Middle Ear Infections. This condition most commonly occurs in children, but can also be present in teens2.
Tympanostomy tubes reduce the likelihood of Middle Ear Infection. Unfortunately, 15% to 26% of patients with tubes still get infections. This is known as Middle Ear Infection with Tubes, or Acute Otitis Media with Tympanostomy Tubes (AOMT)4.
Middle Ear Infection with Tubes is not usually associated with pain or fever. A foul-smelling drainage from the ear (called otorrhea) is typically the only symptom. This drainage indicates that there is an infection and that the tube is working to remove infected fluid from the middle ear space. A common treatment for Middle Ear Infection with Tubes is prescription ear drops4.
*Terms and Conditions: Limitations apply. For commercially insured patients. Up to a $135 cap per bottle. Patient will be responsible for any co-pay once limit per bottle is reached. This offer is not valid under Medicare, Medicaid, or any other federal or state program. Not valid for cash-paying patients. Novartis reserves the right to rescind, revoke, or amend this program without notice. Offer expires [9/30/2017].