P.E tubes, or tympanostomy tubes, are small, plastic tubes that are placed in the tympanic membrane (eardrum) to help equalize pressure in the middle ear. They are often used to treat chronic ear infections, fluid in the middle ear, and hearing loss.
What is the P.E tube used for?
P.E tubes are used to:
- Equalize pressure in the middle ear: This helps to prevent ear infections and hearing loss.
- Drain fluid from the middle ear: This can help to relieve pain and pressure in the ear.
- Allow air to enter the middle ear: This helps to keep the middle ear healthy.
When are P.E tubes needed?
P.E tubes are typically needed when there is a persistent problem with fluid in the middle ear. This can be caused by recurrent ear infections, allergies, or anatomical abnormalities. Fluid in the middle ear can cause hearing loss, pain, and a feeling of fullness in the ear.
Are P.E tubes permanent?
No, P.E tubes are not permanent. They typically fall out on their own within 1-2 years. However, in some cases, they may need to be removed surgically.
What color are P.E tubes?
P.E tubes are typically made of plastic and are either clear or blue. The color of the tube does not affect its function.
Risks of P.E tubes
There are some risks associated with P.E tubes, including:
- Infection: There is a small risk of infection around the tube.
- Hearing loss: In rare cases, P.E tubes can cause hearing loss.
- Eardrum perforation: In rare cases, P.E tubes can cause the eardrum to tear.
Recovery from P.E tube surgery
Recovery from P.E tube surgery is typically quick and easy. Most children are able to return to their normal activities within a few days.
If you are considering P.E tubes for your child, talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits.