Middle ear infection and fluid
This type of problem is common. Middle ear infections usually follow on from a cold or upper respiratory tract infection. The infection, however, may go “straight to the ears”. GPs are experienced in managing this type of infection and often consider the use of antibiotics. In children where there are either frequent infections (usually 4 or more in a 6 month period, or more than 6 episodes in within 12 months), or the infection is serious, then a referral to an Ear Nose and Throat Specialist should be considered.
Perforated Ear Drum
This may follow on from an ear infection or trauma. It is also a risk from the insertion of grommets which are specialised tubes that are used to deal with some of the middle ear problems described above. The presence of a perforated ear drum (or “hole in the ear drum”) may cause problems such as hearing loss, discharge and infection from the ear. Assessment of these problems requires a specialist opinion as to whether the hole can be repaired. Fortunately the ability to repair the ear drum is usually possible.
Children may be born with ears that have a tendency to stick out. This may result in them being the target of teasing by their peers, especially when they go to school. There is an operation designed to pin the ears back and make the appearance of their ears more in keeping with other members of their families. As each persons’ ears are different in size and shape, it is not expected that surgery would make the ears look exactly the same. In some cases, the ears may need to pinned back more than once. The best time to consider this type of treatment is prior to the child commencing school. This procedure is offered by David.