Ear tubes in adults?

My entire life I have had problems with my ears–my Eustachian tubes don’t drain properly and whenever I get the least bit of sinus congestion, I get an ear infection. I went to the doc today with the 6th ear infection this calendar year and he said he’d like to discuss/think about inserting tubes in my ears if I get another infection this year.

I had tubes 3 different times as a child and they didn’t really seem to help; in fact, the third time they inserted them, my eardrum collapsed and it was very painful for several months (I have slight hearing loss because of it) so naturally I’m leery. It would be done outpatient and would take about 15 minutes if there are no complications.

Anyone have any experience with tubes as an adult? What were the results? Worth it? Not worth it?

I’ve had adult patients I’ve referred for ear tubes.

It’s generally done to preserve hearing. Ask your doc how much he thinks your hearingis at risk. If he says it’s at significant risk, consider consenting to the operation.

It’s also necessary if one is prone to certain complications like intracranial abscesses or worse.

this link talks about adults and ear effusions. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/572688

I’ve had ear tubes twice as an adult and twice as a child. The tubes helped drain water behind my ear drums and always improved my hearing. The main thing I had to remember was not to get water in my ears when the tubes were in. It’s quite easy to forget and expose your ears to water during showers etc.