Request An Appointment Refer A Patient (602) 956-1250

How Long do Tubes Stay in Ears?

The short answer to the question, “How long do tubes stay in ears?” is 4-18 months. Some ear tubes are designed to stay in the ears for a longer period of time, but 4-18 months is the average. In many cases, the tubes simply fall out on their own, without any type of removal surgery needed.

Ear tubes are often recommended if a person is prone to getting painful ear infections because fluid has built up within the ears or due to inflammation. Children who have chronic ear infections may have Eustachian tubes that are simply too small to allow fluids to drain properly. (Eustachian tubes run between your middle ear and upper throat.) By placing this small, straw-like, plastic tube into the eardrum, the ears become more ventilated so air can move more easily in and out of the ear. This allows for better drainage and reduces pressure within the ears.

Ear tubes in Phoenix are not typically the first line of treatment for ear infections. Antibiotics may be recommended if the ear infection is persistent – they often clear up on their own. However, frequent ear infections can lead to holes in the eardrum, hearing loss, spread of infection or speech delays – ear tubes can be very effective to protect your child’s hearing, health and social development.

How are Ear Tubes Put In?

During the ear tube process, the doctor will make a small incision in the eardrum through which excess fluids are suctioned out. The tube is placed into the same incision where it will remain until it naturally falls out. Your child will not feel the tube and it will not be visible in the ear. After the tube comes out, the incision should heal on its own. If there is any delay in the healing, a procedure may be necessary to close the incision.

Alternative Names for Ear Tubes

Ear tubes go by many names! If your doctor recommends one of the procedures below, they are actually referring to ear tubes:

  • Tympanostomy tubes
  • Ventilation tubes
  • Myringotomy tubes
  • Pressure equalization tubes

If you or your child is experiencing chronic ear infections in Phoenix, AZ, contact Biltmore ENT, Facial Plastics & Allergy to schedule an appointment and find out if ear tubes are recommended. Please call (602) 956-1250 or visit our website at