Fluid in the ear can be caused by an ear infection, or by another issue with your eustachian tube and can cause hearing loss, pressure, pain and even dizziness. A myringotomy is a minor procedure that involves making a small incision in the tympanic membrane (eardrum). In many cases, a small tube is placed to hold the incision open for a number of months, thereby allowing the ear and eustachian tube to heal. This procedure is performed as an in-office treatment for adults or a minor procedure in the operating room for kids.
Causes of fluid in the ear:
Otitis media (ear infection) or fluid buildup in the middle ear as a result of an obstructed/dysfunctional Eustachian tube.
Symptoms of fluid in the ear:
Symptoms may include a decrease in hearing, which can contribute to speech delay in children, ear pressure and ear pain. If the fluid is infected, the additional symptoms of fever and malaise may be present.
A myringotomy is typically an in-office procedure for adults and some older children. Young children require a few minutes of general anesthesia and so the procedure is performed in the operating room. Myringotomy may or may not involve the placement of an ear tube, which helps the ear drain and ventilate.
If we choose not to place the ear tube, the incision will close within a week or so. If we insert an ear tube in the opening, it will naturally extrude in 6 to 18 months in most patients.
*Results may vary and are not guaranteed*