From the category archives: Raleigh Capitol Ear, Nose & Throat

Ear infection is the second most common childhood illness in the United States. These infections (“otitis media”) are caused when fluid behind the eardrum cannot drain, trapping viruses and bacteria.

Ear Tubes

What are ear tubes? Ear tubes, also known as PE tubes or Pressure Equalization tubes, are small cylindrical silicone or plastic tubes that are surgically placed into the ear drum. When are ear tubes necessary? Ear tubes are typically placed for 4 reasons: Recurrent Otitis Media. This is the most common reason for ear tube placement for children between the ages of 1 and 6 years old. Tubes are generally considered for patients who are having 5 or more ear infections per year. Persistent Acute Otitis Media. Antibiotic resistant bacteria are becoming more prevalent and we are seeing more and more ear infections that will not clear with oral antibiotics. If an acute infection is not clearing with 2-3 courses of broad spectrum antibiotics, ear tubes are frequently recommended. Otitis Media with Effusion. Middle ear fluid is common for several weeks following an ear infection. If however, fluid persists for 3 or more months, ear tubes are frequently recommended. Eustachian tube dysfunction. Whi ...

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Summer ENT Care

With the arrival of summer this week, summer activities are in full swing, including regular swimming, diving and more active water sports such as water skiing, wakeboarding and tubing. While much attention is directed to safety in and on the water, we see water related ear problems every year, most of which are entirely unavoidable and random. It can be confusing as a patient trying to decide whether an ear needs to be seen and how quickly that is necessary. Otitis externa (“swimmer’s ear”), is easily the most frequently seen ENT problem related to water activities. It accounts for numerous office visits in a specialty ENT practice, as well as in primary care offices and urgent care centers. Pain in the ear (often quite severe) with blockage and often drainage are hallmarks of this problem. The ear is often exquisitely sensitive to pressure or pulling on the visible outside portion of the ear. While this condition often responds well to antibiotic eardrops, especially when discovered early ...

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