Is a Ventilation Tube Right for Your Child?

Your paediatrician or ENT specialist may recommend an ear ventilation tube (vent tube) for your child to help treat ear infections that keep coming back or that last a long time.

Vent tubes for the ear are generally only a few millimeters wide.

Vent tubes for the ear are generally only a few millimetres wide.

A vent tube is a tiny tube that is put into your child's eardrum. It helps drain fluid from the middle ear to lessen the risk of ear infections.

Each year, close to 1.1 million vent tube procedures are performed. Most of these are for children between 1 and 3 years old. Out of these 1.1 million procedures:

  • About 900,000 are for children receiving their primary or first set of vent tubes
  • Around 200,000 procedures are for children who get their adenoids removed and a second set of vent tubes
  • Nearly 40,000 procedures are for children who still need a third set of vent tubes

Vent tubes may be recommended if:

A vent tube in the eardrum allows fluid to drain and helps prevent infection.

Detail - A vent tube in the eardrum allows fluid to drain and helps prevent infection.

  • There’s still fluid in the ears 3 or 4 months after an ear infection
  • There’s fluid in the ears with more than 3 months of hearing loss
  • The structure of the eardrum has changed because of ear infections
  • Your child has repeated ear infections that don’t get better after several months, even with antibiotic treatment

 

Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.

Last updated: 22 Sep 2010

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