Jump to:  A   |   B   |   C   |   D   |   E   |   F   |   G   |   H   |   I   |   J   |   K   |   L   |   M   |   N   |   O   |   P   |   Q   |   R   |   S   |   T   |   U   |   V   |   W   |   X   |   Y

Ear Tubes May Not Have Long-Term Benefits for Kids With Ear Infections

FRIDAY, Jan. 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Ear tubes can improve hearing over the short term in children with a certain type of ear infection. But they don't help children's hearing, speech or language over the long term, according to a new review.

Dr. Michael Steiner and colleagues at the University of North Carolina reviewed the findings of 41 studies that assessed the effects of implanting ear tubes in children with what doctors call recurrent or chronic otitis media with effusion. In this condition, there is fluid in the middle ear, but no signs or symptoms of acute ear infection.

The fluid reduces middle ear function, resulting in temporary hearing loss and occasional pain, according to a university news release. Due to parental concerns about potential hearing loss and developmental delays, many children with the condition have ear tubes implanted to relieve pressure and fluid buildup.

Up to 90 percent of children have at least one episode of otitis media with effusion by age 10, and the condition is a major reason children undergo surgery, according to the news release. The placement of ear tubes is sometimes done along with adenoidectomy, a procedure in which tissue is removed from the back of the throat.

"Surgery can certainly help ease pain associated with ear pressure changes in the middle ear, and even improve hearing in the short term," said Steiner, chief of general pediatrics and adolescent medicine at the UNC School of Medicine. "But we found no evidence that surgical intervention improves longer term hearing, speech, language or other functional outcomes in normally developing children."

The findings were published online Jan. 6 in the journal Pediatrics.

Ina Wallace, a senior research psychologist at nonprofit research organization RTI International, said more studies still need to be conducted on the subject.

"With the large number of tube insertions and adenoidectomies done on children each year, more research needs to be done to assist clinicians and parents in understanding the level of improvement in quality of life and other patient-centered outcomes that these common procedures offer, especially for periods longer than 24 months," said Wallace, the new review's lead author.

"Our research showed that tubes and adenoidectomy seem to be effective in the short term, although they carry some risks," Wallace said. "We found evidence that tubes may not make a difference in hearing and functional outcomes over one or two years or longer, but less is known about the long-term outcomes for adenoidectomy."

More information

The U.S. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders has more about ear infections in children.

SOURCE: University of North Carolina School of Medicine, news release, Jan. 6, 2014

Reviewed Date: --

Find a pediatrician
CHKD ENT
Cristina Baldassari, MD
David Darrow, MD
Craig Derkay, MD
Stephanie Moody Antonio, MD
John Sinacori, MD
Ear, Nose and Throat, Ltd.
Brian D. Deutsch, MD
David Dorofi, MD
R. Jeffrey Hood, MD
John Kalafsky, MD
John Roche, MD
Michael Shroyer, MD
Children's Cardiac Surgery
Benjamin B Peeler, MD
Felix Tsai, MD
Childrens Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
J. Marc Cardelia, MD
Allison Crepeau, MD
Cara Novick, MD
H. Sheldon St. Clair, MD
Carl St. Remy, MD
Allison Tenfelde, MD
Neurosurgery
John Birknes, MD
Joseph Dilustro, MD
Children's Plastic Surgery
George Hoerr, MD
Jesus Inciong, MD
Pediatric Surgery
Frazier Frantz, MD
Michael Goretsky, MD
Robert Kelly, MD
M. Ann Kuhn, MD
Michele Lombardo, MD
Robert Obermeyer, MD
Health Tips
A Parent’s Guide to Choosing Child Care
Baby’s Emotional, Intellectual Development
Boost Your Teen Daughter’s Body Image
Cool Tools to Keep Your Kids From Smoking
Could Your Child Have a Drug Problem?
Do Parents Influence Their Kids’ Health Behaviors?
Earlier Is Better to Catch Hearing Loss
For Kids, Games Can Build Strong Minds
Growing Up Short or Heavy Can Be Difficult
Guidelines for Raising Smoke-Free Kids
Help Your Babysitter Prepare for Anything
Helping Children Conquer Fear
How Old Is 'Old Enough' for Contacts?
How to Prevent Childhood Obesity
How to Talk About Drugs With Your Kids
Is It Time for Toilet Training?
Is Your Child Too Sick for Day Care or School?
Keeping Your Cool When Parenting Teens
Kids' Health Concerns Ease with Age
Letting Kids Grow Up…At Their Own Pace
Making Rules for Children Reinforces Love
Making This School Year Your Child's Best Ever
Middle Ear Infections in Children
New Parents...Sore Backs
Parents-to-Be Must Communicate
Paying for Attention: Abuse of Prescription ADHD Drugs Rising on College Campuses
Preparing Your Daughter for Changes
Reading to Kids Helps Their Development
Solving Battles at Mealtime
Sports and Music: Both Good for Kids
Talk With Your Kids About These Issues
Talking Sex with Your Teen
Teens and Talk: What's a Parent to Do?
TV vs. Activity: Key Choice for Kids
We Can Head Off Teen Tragedies
Weight Room No Longer Off-Limits to Kids
What Kids Drink Is Important, Too
When Children Say 'No' to New Foods
When to Call the Doctor for Childhood Illnesses
When Your Child Says, 'I'm Sick'
Your Child's Imaginary Friend…What It Means
Your Child's Social and Emotional Development
Quizzes
Child Development Quiz
Ear, Nose, and Throat Quiz
Hearing Quiz
Diseases & Conditions
AIDS/HIV in Children
Anatomy of a Child's Brain
Anatomy of the Endocrine System in Children
Anxiety Disorders in Children
Asthma and Children
Asthma in Children Index
Bicycle, In-Line Skating, Skateboarding Safety--Injury Statistics and Incidence Rates
Bipolar Disorder in Children
Bone Marrow Transplantation in Children
Brain Tumors in Children
Breast Conditions
Burns: Symptom Management
Chemotherapy for Children: Side Effects
Child Care
Diphtheria in Children
Discipline
During an Asthma Attack
Ewing Sarcoma
Firearms
Glossary - Ear, Nose, and Throat
Hepatitis B (HBV) in Children
Home Page - Ear, Nose, and Throat
Inflammatory and Infectious Musculoskeletal Disorders
Inflammatory and Infectious Neurological Disorders
Inguinal Hernia in Children
Insect Bites and Children
Kidney Transplantation in Children
Meningitis in Children
Mood Disorders in Children and Adolescents
Muscular Dystrophy
Myasthenia Gravis in Children
Online Resources - Ear, Nose, and Throat
Osteosarcoma in Children
Pain Management and Children
Pediatric Blood Disorders
Poliomyelitis (Polio) in Children
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Children
Preparing the School-Aged Child for Surgery
Schizophrenia in Children
School-Aged Child Nutrition
Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis
Sports Safety for Children
Superficial Injuries Overview
Television and Children
Thalassemia
The Growing Child: 1 to 3 Months
The Growing Child: 10 to 12 Months
The Growing Child: 2-Year-Olds
The Growing Child: 4 to 6 Months
The Growing Child: 7 to 9 Months
The Growing Child: Newborn
The Growing Child: Preschool (4 to 5 Years)
The Growing Child: School-Age (6 to 12 Years)
The Heart
The Kidneys
Topic Index - Ear, Nose, and Throat
Vision Overview
Whooping Cough (Pertussis)

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to substitute or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your child's physician. The content provided on this page is for informational purposes only, and was not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your child's physician with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical condition.