About Grommet insertion
Grommets are small plastic tubes placed inside a hole made in the eardrum. They allow air to get in and out of the ear to keep the ear healthy. They help improve hearing and reduce infection.
Grommets are inserted into a small hole made in the eardrum after fluid behind the eardrum has been drained, this happens under general anaesthesia.
Grommets come out on their own after around a year, leaving a small scar on the eardrum which does not usually has no effect on hearing. Complications with grommet insertion are rare. Ear infections can occur and are usually treated with antibiotics.
Let nursery or school teachers know if your child has a hearing problem. as it may help for them to sit at the front of the class. Once the grommets are in then the hearing usually returns to normal.
After the first two weeks your child can go swimming without ear protection as long as they avoid swimming deep underwater. All the time your child has grommets they should try and keep soapy water out of the ears, using earplugs when washing.
What conditions to Grommets help treat?
Glue ear / Hearing difficulties
Some children are prone to sticky fluid (‘glue’) collecting behind the eardrum. This is known as ‘Glue Ear’ and can cause hearing loss and delay in language development and speech in children.
Grommets help drain the fluid, in turn improving hearing. Glue ear tends to get better as the child gets older, but in some children this takes a long time. Usually we monitor children for the three months and consider grommets if the problem continues.
Removing a child’s adenoids may be recommended at the same time as the grommet insertion as this has also been shown to reduce Glue Ear.
Recurrent ear infections
Some children suffer from recurrent middle ear infections. These are usually treated with antibiotics, however if this is not effective then grommets can reduce the severity frequency of infections as it allows the ear to drain.