Serous Otitis Media is a harmful condition that can cause hearing loss in children and adults. It is also referred to as middle ear fluid. In a healthy ear, the space behind the eardrum is occupied with air, which allows sound to be transmitted. When you have a cold or upper respiratory infection, that space can become filled with fluid. After the cold or infection passes, the fluid drains out of the ear through the Eustachian tube. However for children and some adults, this tube does not drain well and the fluid can build-up and block the ear.
Treating Chronic Serous Otitis Media
At Commonwealth ENT Associates, we treat serous otitis media by opening up the ventilation in the middle of the ear. This allows fluid to drain properly so that the child’s hearing doesn’t become impaired.
The process we use to ventilate the middle ear and remove the fluid is a procedure called a myringotomy, which is an incision in the eardrum. We insert a small plastic or metal tube in order to stop the incision from closing up and to keep the middle ear ventilated. In other words, the tube will perform the same function as the Eustachian tube. The tube generally stays inserted for around one year, which is enough time for the blockage to be corrected.
If needed, we can remove the tubes, but we prefer to let the tube come out of the eardrum naturally. The eardrum starts to heal after the tube comes out and the eustachian tube should start to function normally again.
This procedure is performed in an outpatient setting with general anesthesia for children, and we have the ability to use a local anesthetic anesthetic for adults in our office. Dr. Bane has extensive experience working with patients with Serous Otitis Media, and have been able to improve their condition with the myringotomy procedure.
You may call one of our two offices located in Woodbridge and Stafford VA to schedule an appointment. We look forward to providing you with the best care possible, from the top ENT doctor in the area.