Ear infections are usually minor, but when they happen chronically, they can cause various problems. In children and adults whose recurring ear infections aren’t resolved by non-surgical treatments, surgery is often the best option.
At his practice in Sioux Falls, Idaho, otolaryngologist Terry Baker, MD performs life-changing ear surgery on patients of all ages who experience ongoing ear diseases and infections. Discover the benefits your child or you will get from undergoing ear surgery.
When ear surgery is necessary
Dr. Baker performs ear surgery on children and adults when conservative methods of treatment don’t resolve long-standing ear problems. You or your child might be a good candidate for ear surgery if you have chronic or severe ear infections that haven’t responded to antibiotics, medical suctioning, ear drops, and other non-surgical interventions.
Types of ear surgery
The type of ear surgery Dr. Baker recommends depends on the area of the ear where you or your child’s chronic ear infections occur. The most common ear surgeries involve placing ear tubes in the ears or operating on your eardrums.
Ear tube surgery
Dr. Baker usually performs this surgery on children who have a buildup of fluid in their ears’ estuarine tubes that causes frequently occurring ear infections. In this surgery, Dr. Baker places ear tubes in your child’s ears, which allow fluid to drain more easily from the middle ear.
In other instances, chronic ear problems can result from infections in the eardrums or surrounding bones or tissues. To resolve the problem, Dr. Baker surgically repairs and cleans out the infected areas, and in some cases, replaces your or your child’s eardrum.
Benefits of getting ear surgery
In good candidates for ear surgery, the procedure offers several benefits. Along with reducing ear infections, surgery also helps resolve developmental challenges children can experience related to ear problems.
Fewer ear infections
The biggest benefit of getting ear surgery is a significant reduction in the number of ear infections you or your child gets, including limiting the painful symptoms associated with them. Some patients stop getting ear infections after surgery, while others get far fewer infections.
The buildup of fluid and eardrum damage common in patients with chronic ear infections can cause hearing loss and tinnitus. After you or your child’s ear fluid is drained or eardrum is repaired, you can expect your hearing to improve.
Improved language development
Younger children with chronic ear infections sometimes experience speech and language delays from the resulting temporary hearing loss. Once their hearing is restored, these children have an easier time with speech, pronunciation, and receptive language.
If your child has behavioral problems as a direct result of chronic ear infections, you can expect these to improve after ear surgery. This includes withdrawn behavior, unresponsiveness, and inattentive behaviors related to the hearing loss from ear infections.
Ear surgery has life-changing positive results in many who suffer from repeated ear infections. If you or your child have chronic ear infections that you believe might be causing medical or developmental problems and would like to learn more about ear surgery, contact Dr. Baker’s practice by calling 208-225-4408 to make an appointment.