Details of the condition
- Grommet insertion is undertaken when a child has fluid behind the ears with hearing loss (>3 months), or if there are too many ear infections (>6 in a 12 month period)
- The procedure gives a great result in these cases, transforming quality of life for the child and their family.
- Grommet insertion is a day procedure with minimal postoperative pain.
- The ear should be kept dry until the first postoperative visit, avoiding swimming, and avoiding your child’s head going under the water in the bath. It is possible to rinse the hair with water from the tap in a jug, or with a shower. Ear plugs are not necessary at this stage.
- Antibiotic drops are usually prescribed (ciloxan), and are taken 3 drops to each ear 3X a day for 5 days.
- This will be at 2-3 weeks after surgery.
At this point we will have a detailed discussion about water precautions.
- It is important that your child continues to swim as they would without grommets.
Dr Smith does not recommend ear plugs for bath/ shower time, but does recommend them for swimming.
- Blu Tac is used successfully by many children.
- The piece of Blu Tac should be big enough to fill the Concha (bowl) of the external ear, extending into the outer part of the ear canal. If the piece of Blutac is too small, it may be lost into the ear canal.
- Blu Tac is cheap, moulds nicely, and sticks slightly to the skin.
- Doc’s Pro Plugs are like a little suction cup that forms a nice seal in the ear for many children. They come in a range of sizes, with a good fit possible in most cases.
- These plugs can be fitted by our practice audiologists.
- Custom made ear plug: an impression of your child’s ear is taken by our practice audiologist, theoretically giving a superior fit.
- Whatever ear plug is selected, we recommend the use of a headband or swimming cap to keep the plugs nicely in place.
- Routine review is undertaken every 6 months until the grommets have come out.
- At that stage an assessment is made as tho whether further treatment of the ear is necessary, or if the child can be discharged from ENT review.
- If mucky fluid comes from the ear this represents and infection.
- It is not “the grommet doing its job”.
- It is important that the ear gets appropriate early treatment, the mainstay of which is eardrops (ciloxan) rather than oral antibiotics (in most cases).
- If there is discharge from the ear, please let our office know so that we can give advice, and ensure that appropriate management is underway.
- We are always happy to see your child at any stage if you have concerns.
- If infection is not eliminated early in the piece, the grommet itself can become chronically infected leading to discharge that can only be overcome by a procedure to remove or replace the grommet.