An ear infection sometimes called acute otitis media is an infection of the middle ear, the air-filled space behind the eardrum that contains the tiny vibrating bones of the ear. Children are more likely than adults to get ear infections. Because ear infections often clear up on their own, treatment may begin with managing pain and monitoring the problem. Sometimes, antibiotics are used to clear the infection. Some people are prone to having multiple ear infections. This can cause hearing problems and other serious complications.
Synthetic ear tubes are also sometimes called ventilation tubes, ear grommets, or tympanostomy tubes. They are placed inside of the auditory tube in order to hold it open and to allow proper ventilation and drainage of the middle ear. The surgical placement of ear tubes is more common in children than adults because children have a naturally more narrow auditory tube which tends to be at a more horizontal angle than adults. This difference in anatomy makes it more difficult for a child's middle ear to get proper airflow and for fluid to drain from their ears. However, when the surgical placement of ear tubes becomes necessary in an adult, it is often to treat the same conditions which require their placement in children.
Skip to content. Otitis media is another name for a middle ear infection. It means an infection behind your eardrum.
Ear tubes are tiny, hollow cylinders, usually made of plastic or metal, that are surgically inserted into the eardrum. An ear tube creates an airway that ventilates the middle ear and prevents the accumulation of fluids behind the eardrum. Ear tubes can also be called tympanostomy tubes, ventilation tubes, myringotomy tubes or pressure equalization tubes. Ear tubes are often recommended for children who have persistent fluid buildup behind the eardrum, especially if the condition causes hearing loss and affects speech development. Your child's doctor may also recommend ear tubes if your child gets frequent ear infections.