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Ear question

Forum: Children with Vision, Hearing & Sensory Issues


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November 1st, 2010, 05:33 PM
Tara0906's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,459
Hello, I am new here. I have a question and I am hoping that someone out there can give me some insight.

My son is 6 1/2 years old. At age 3 he had his first set of tubes. He had a hearing test done and failed because he had fluid behind his ears. He went to the Dr.'s a few times for ear infections. After a year of ear tubes they fell out and when we went for a check up a year later his ear drums were retracted. He had neg. pressure in his ears and failed his hearing test. The ENT watched for another 6 months and then suggested another set of "short term" tubes. So last Oct. he got his 2nd set of ear tubes. One has fallen out and the other one is on the surface of the ear drum last time he checked. At his last visit at the ENT I was told his ear drum (that doesnt have the tube) is retracted again. Dr. first told me that the 2nd set would 100% fix the retraction. Well, now he is telling me that it is normal for the ear drum to still be retracted that it will take time after the ear drum to be "normal". Nathen had a Dr. appointment today at his regular ped. and he told me that his ear drums are both retracted and the right ear drum is thick?!?!?

I don't understand what is going on. Has anyone dealt with ear tubes/retracted ear drums.

Any info would be appreciated.

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November 1st, 2010, 07:41 PM
quietsong's Avatar Just Another Slacker Mom
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Missouri
Posts: 42,367
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No no no. Now, I'm no expert, but my younger son had tubes very early and has chronically retracted ear drums (though, fortunately/unfortunately, it doesn't impact his hearing since he's already profoundly deaf).

Here's what I understand: tubes fix negative pressure while they are in, because they allow the fluid behind the ear drum to drain so that the pressure equalizes. So when the tube was in place, it should have been "normal," or close to - not retracted. As a result, there shouldn't be any wait time between the tube coming out and the ear drum being normal, because it already SHOULD have been.

If the ear drum is retracted now that the tube is out, that means that fluid still isn't able to drain without it. Your doctor may suggest giving him a month or so to see if it clears on its own, but that has nothing to do with the tube and everything to do with it just being the season that kids get sick and he may have a bit of a bug.

At very least, I would make another ENT appointment to address the fact that both ear drums are not retracted; you may even want to seek a second opinion from another ENT. Good luck!

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