Your Toddler: 19-24 Months

Does My Ear Infection Prone Child Need Ear Tubes?

Are my toddler's ear infections normal? I’m wondering if he needs ear tubes.

Middle ear infections are very common in toddlers. When a virus or bacteria enters the middle ear through the eustachian tubes in the back of the nose, the result is a build-up of fluid in the middle ear. The fluid pushes up against the eardrum — and that’s what causes so much pain.

As for the ear-tube surgery, a tiny tube is inserted into the eardrum to circulate air in the area, which equalizes the pressure in the middle ear; your pediatrician will be the best judge. But there are a few questions that might help to give you a general sense of whether or not your son’s are serious enough: Are his ear infections difficult to treat, even with antibiotics? Is his speech delayed? Does his hearing seem affected? In those cases, he may be a candidate.

By The Bump Editors