The objective of this study was to analyze the outcome of children receiving tympanostomy tubes with respect to improvement in hearing and incidence of otitis media.
One hundred twenty-nine children who underwent myringotomy and insertion of tympanostomy tubes were followed for at least 2 years postoperatively. They were analyzed pre- and postoperatively with respect to the incidence of otitis media and/or level of hearing.
Children receiving ventilation tubes for recurrent acute otitis media experienced an average of 7.45 episodes of otitis media in the 12 months preoperatively and 0.76 episodes in the 12 months postoperatively, with an improvement of 6.69 infections (p < .0001). All patients showed improvement, and 69% remained infection free for 12 months postoperatively. Audiologic tests showed there was a significant improvement in the hearing postoperatively, with an average of nearly 14-dB improvement. There was significant improvement in all frequencies tested when the preoperative measures are compared with those of the first postoperative audiometric testing (with statistical significance p < .0001 throughout).
Tympanostomy tubes significantly reduced the incidence of otitis media and improve hearing in paediatric patients.