Signs You Need Adult Ear Tubes

What are Ear Tubes?

Ear tubes, also known as tympanostomy tubes, are not just for kids—they help adults too. These small devices are placed in the eardrum to help with repeat ear infections and ongoing fluid issues that can cause hearing problems and discomfort. By balancing ear pressure and improving hearing, ear tubes make everyday life better for many adults. At Granville Health System, our specialty practices have the right tools and experts to do this procedure right here in your community. Find out how we can help you manage your ear health and make you feel better with our caring, local medical services.

“Ear tube issues are more prevalent than one might think, affecting not only children but also a significant number of adults. Let’s delve into some of the most common problems that can be alleviated with ear tubes,” said Dr. Richard Alexander, MD, PhD, MBA – Granville Health System

Signs You May Need Ear Tubes:

Many adults with ear tubes experience significant improvements in managing symptoms that can interfere with their daily routines and personal interactions. These include recurring ear infections, hearing loss, and recurring sinus infections. In the upcoming section, we will examine each symptom in greater detail, highlighting how ear tubes not only alleviate these distressing symptoms but also contribute to better auditory health and fewer medical complications over time.

You Have Recurring Ear Infections

Recurring ear infections can be more than just a nuisance for adults; they can disrupt daily life and even lead to more serious health issues if left unchecked. While commonly associated with children, adult ear infections can persist or recur frequently, particularly if they’re not effectively managed by standard treatments. This is where ear tubes come into play. By surgically inserting these small tubes into the eardrum, doctors can help stabilize the pressure within the ear and facilitate fluid drainage. This intervention not only reduces the likelihood of future infections but also diminishes their intensity, allowing for clearer hearing and less discomfort. Additionally, consistent use of ear tubes may help in preventing potential complications such as hearing loss or the spread of infection to other areas of the ear.

You’ve Experienced Hearing loss

Hearing loss in adults is often caused by fluid buildup in the middle ear, a condition that not only affects your ability to hear but also impacts your overall communication and quality of life. While hearing loss is a common reason for ear tube placement in children, many adults also benefit from this procedure. Ear tubes work by creating a small passageway that allows fluid to drain from the middle ear, thus reducing pressure and restoring the ear’s natural function. This can lead to a noticeable improvement in hearing. Beyond immediate relief, the insertion of ear tubes can also help prevent future episodes of fluid accumulation, thereby maintaining clearer hearing over time. For adults facing persistent hearing issues related to fluid buildup, ear tubes offer a proactive solution to enhance auditory health and improve daily interactions.

You Have Recurring Sinus Infections

Due to the interconnected nature of the sinuses and the middle ear, recurring sinus infections can often exacerbate or even cause issues in the ear. Sinus infections can lead to fluid accumulation in the middle ear, which not only affects hearing but can also result in repeated ear infections. 

An ENT specialist may suggest the insertion of ear tubes for individuals who find themselves in a cycle of sinus and ear complications. These tubes aid in ventilating the middle ear and ensuring fluid can drain effectively, thus helping to break the cycle of infections. Additionally, managing ear conditions with ear tubes can contribute to overall sinus health by maintaining better aeration and pressure balance between the ear and nasal passages. This intervention is vital for preventing further complications and improving a patient’s quality of life by reducing the frequency and severity of sinus and ear infections.

While ear tubes are a relatively simple procedure, it is important to consult an ENT specialist to determine whether they are necessary for your particular situation. An ENT specialist can perform a thorough evaluation to determine the underlying cause of your ear-related issues and recommend the best course of treatment, which may or may not include ear tubes. 

“The ease of the ear tube procedure often prompts the question, ‘How long does it take, and is it worth it?’ The answer is a resounding yes. The benefits of improved ear health and quality of life far outweigh the minor procedure involved,” said Dr. Richard Alexander, MD, PhD, MBA – Granville Health System

About Granville Health System

For more than 100 years, Granville Health System (GHS) has been delivering quality health care and specialty services to the residents of Granville County, northern Wake County, and beyond. The GHS main campus is located at 1010 College Street, Oxford, North Carolina 27565 with its Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) specialty practice located at 102 Professional Park Drive, Oxford, North Carolina 27565. For more information about Granville Health System please visit

For the past 100 years, Granville Health System has been delivering quality health care close to home. To meet the growing needs of our community, Granville Health System has expanded its services throughout Granville County, offering convenient access to medical care where you work and live.