Ever have tubes put in your ears?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by ChrisR, Dec 9, 2002.

  1. ChrisR

    ChrisR Stunt Coordinator

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    I have to go to my ear doctor friday to have my ears drained from an ear infection I recently had.
    What I want to know is if you know anybody who had this done and how long they had the tubes in for. Thanks.
     
  2. Kris McLaughlin

    Kris McLaughlin Stunt Coordinator

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    Both my brother and sister had tubes in their ears as kids. I think they stayed in for 1-2 years, IIRC. They just had to wear earplugs to go swimming, I don't think they were that much of an annoyance. Then again, there were no foreign objects in my head, so what do I know?
     
  3. Jared_B

    Jared_B Supporting Actor

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    I had them when I was young.
    The only negative was wearing ear plugs when swimming. If you didn't, your head would fill up with water and your brains would float right out - or so I was told.

    One word of caution: When they go to put you out for the procedure, do NOT listen to the way-too-perky nurse and get the bubble gum flavored gas. I just about gagged.
     
  4. Richard Travale

    Richard Travale Producer

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    I had it done twice when I was about 10 and 13. My niece just had them done at 3 years old poor kid. IIRC they stay in for about 1-2 years.
     
  5. BrianW

    BrianW Cinematographer

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    I have a permanent tube in my left ear. My Eustachian tube connecting my middle ear to my sinuses doesn’t work (congenital disorder), so I have to have a tube in my eardrum for the rest of my life to equalize the pressure. Because of complications that arose from not having a tube in my ear for the first twenty years of my life, I can never get water in my ear. So no swimming, no water sports, and I have to be very careful in the shower, even with ear an ear plug. The tube I have is likely different from what yours will be. Mine is shaped like a toggle bolt to prevent it from being pushed out, and it’s a very painful process to have it inserted. Luckily, I’ve had to have it changed only twice in the past twenty years.

    Even so, it’s a small price to pay to have my hearing back again, even in slightly diminished capacity.
     
  6. SteveK

    SteveK Supporting Actor

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    Several years ago, I had temporary tubes put in my ears to help drainage. They worked fine, then the doctor removed them. Sure enough, my ears stopped up again and I again experienced significant hearing loss. So the doctor put in permanent tubes, and they've worked fine ever since. When he installed the temporary tubes, he either used no anasthesia or a local, but he used general anasthesia when he put in the permanent tubes. When he told me I had to have tubes put in, I remember facetiously asking if that procedure was done in the pediatrics department, as I had never heard of an adult having to have tubes. [​IMG]
    Steve K.
     
  7. ChrisR

    ChrisR Stunt Coordinator

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    Holy crap! I hope I don't have to have mine in for 1-2 years. Could you guys even notice that the tubes were in? Or how long after did you stop noticing?
    Steve, how long did it take for your ear(s) to drain? Did you feel any relief right away?
    I just wanna watch dvd's again. I haven't watched one or listened to a cd in almost five weeks!
     
  8. Matt Gordon

    Matt Gordon Supporting Actor

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    Hold on, guys....

    Having your ear drained is very different than having "tubes in your ears."

    Having your ear drained is when the doctor makes a small cut in the ear drum and drains the middle ear (the area behind the eardrum) of fluid. This procedure is pretty quick and is done under local anesthesia (if any at all).

    Having tubes put in the ears is a very small plastic tube (maybe 2 mm or so) that is placed through the eardrum to provide some temporary (up to 4-7 years) relief of people who chronically get fluid in the middle ear. Usually, this is only done on children. Doctors try medication to dry up the fluid with medication before resorting to doing this procedure on adults.
     
  9. Jared_B

    Jared_B Supporting Actor

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  10. SteveK

    SteveK Supporting Actor

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    Chris - It has been at least 5 years now since the tubes were put in, so I don't remember many of the specifics. However, I can clearly remember having a fair amount of ear pain, going to the ENT, having the hearing test done, and hearing the ENT say that I had "significant" hearing loss. Now, he says that my hearing is better than his. So whatever pain or discomfort I may have experienced was more than worthwhile to go from "significant" hearing loss to above-average hearing. I'm still on an annual follow-up basis, which I expect I will remain on for a long time. Hopefully the "permanent" tubes are in fact permanent and won't have to be redone, as I don't imagine I'll ever be able to do without them.

    And Matt is right...the tubes are VERY small. When the ENT showed me the temporary tubes he initially installed, I couldn't believe how small they were, and how much they could accomplish being so small. But they definitely work.
    Matt is also right about tubes not being the remedy of first resort. My ENT first tried medicine, and resorted to tubes only when medicine did not work. Even then, he initially tried temporary tubes and only resorted to permanent tubes when it became obvious that I would need them permanently.

    Steve K.
     
  11. Lance Nichols

    Lance Nichols Supporting Actor

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    I used to have tubes put in my year (the temporary kind) at least once a year while I was growing up. Any time there was an ear infection, or possibility of one, in they went.

    I am deaf in my right ear, and my audiologist was frightened I would loose my good ear. Only down side, I was an avid swimmer and would have to get custom ear plugs done for the period the tubes were in. Really NOT a big deal at all.

    The scary one, and most painful, was one time I had a serious ear infection, so bad the doc did not want to wait to get me into the hospital. I was maybe 5-6 at the time. My dad held me down, and they drain the ear with a suction device, and placed in a temporary tube. LOUD and painful... Only time I have been in more pain was a serious kidney infection. Damn, those HURT.
     
  12. Will Pomeroy

    Will Pomeroy Stunt Coordinator

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    Okay, i'm getting freaked out... My ears have been popping constantly for the past two weeks, and if I CAN get them unpopped its very difficult, and trust me, i've been cleaning them like the dickens. I thought it was nothing more than an annoyance that will eventually go away (seems to gone now). Do I need a cut in my ear, or have tubes or something? Specifically why do people need tubes or the cut thing?

    Thanks,

    Will.
     
  13. Matt Gordon

    Matt Gordon Supporting Actor

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    The body's reaction to some things (like allergens or infections) is to flood the affected area with fluid. This fluid can sometimes get backed up in the middle ear, which is the part of the ear right behind the eardrum. There is a tube leading from the middle ear down to the throat (called the eustachian tube... and don't count on me spelling that right... and FYI, it resembles a linguini noodle) that drains this fluid off. But if the tube is swollen or blocked due to the body's response to the irritant, the fluid hangs out there and bothers you... leading to a temporary decrease in hearing response and that "clogged up" feeling.

    The "popping" can be due to fluid or the ear's inability to adjust to atmospheric air pressure changes as the weather changes from day to day.
     
  14. DaveMcS

    DaveMcS Second Unit

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  15. ChrisR

    ChrisR Stunt Coordinator

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    The more I think about it, maybe the ENT is just going to drain them. I'll let you know monday how it went.
     
  16. Matt Gordon

    Matt Gordon Supporting Actor

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    How'd it go, Chris?
     
  17. JimColeman

    JimColeman Agent

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    Hold on Matt[​IMG] , you are way off in your description of the origin of middle ear fluid. There is no "flooding" and there is no "backup".
    Middle ear infection with fluid is caused by eustachian tube dysfunction. When the tube does not function, air is trapped in the middle ear cavity. Over time this will cause the middle ear pressure to be less than atmospheric pressure. We call this, negative pressure. This negative pressure creates a vacuum and draws fluid into the middle ear cavity from the surrounding membrane.
    Just thought I should clear that up.
    Jim
     

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