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Is Getting Tubes in your ears painful?

If you’ve ever had an injury to your ear, you know that ears can be especially sensitive to pain. It’s perfectly natural if hearing “tubes in your ears” causes you to cringe. But is this reaction justified? Is getting tubes in your ears painful?

First, let’s look at why ear tubes are necessary. In young children, buildup of fluid in the middle ear behind the ear drop often calls for the placement of tubes. Because this excess fluid can interfere with hearing, it’s important to fix before it causes hearing loss or an issue with their speech. Frequent ear infections in children are also a reason for getting ear tubes placed. In adults, allergies or infections can cause inflammation and pressure changes between the inner and outer ear. Ear tubes can equalize pressure and drain excess fluid buildup, all of which can be a source of intense, chronic pain.

The medical conditions that would require ear tubes are painful, but how does that compare to the actual procedure of having tubes placed? What is the process for getting tubes placed in your ears?

If you are an adult, your procedure will start with an examination of your ears, and then numbing drops will be put inside your ears. Once your eardrum is numb, a small hole will be made through the eardrum using a laser or scalpel. If there is fluid that needs to be drained, it will be done by suction or tilting your head. Then, the tube is guided into your ear. And just like that, the procedure is over! You may be given cotton to collect more drainage post-procedure, but other than that there is no recovery period. You will be able to return to your normal activities immediately. For children, tube placement may occur under general anesthesia to avoid any sudden movement that could cause damage to the ear.

For children and adults alike, the procedure shouldn’t be a source of any more than mild pain that goes away within a day or two. Any pain can be treated with over-the-counter pain medication. The procedure is well worth the relief of the sharp, chronic pain associated with ear infections, fluid buildup or pressure issues!

Are you having ear pain that you can’t find relief for? Are you interested in ear tube placement? Call our office at (602) 956-1250 to make an appointment with one of our expert physicians. Relief is possible, and is just a call away!