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What do ear tubes do?

Published On: Jan 17 2013 04:05:57 PM CST
baby

istock

Ear tubes are often needed in children. But how do they work?

According to the Mayo Clinic, an ear tube creates an airway the ventilates the middle ear and prevents fluid from accumulating.

Tubes are often put in children who have frequent ear infections or who have persistent fluid build up behind their eardrum. According to the Mayo Clinic, persistent fluid can affect a child’s speech and hearing.

The Mayo Clinic states that most tubes fall out within six to 12 months. In some cases the tubes may need to be removed.