How do ear tubes come out?

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How do ear tubes fall out and when? I'm Dr. Allen Greene and I want to answer just common questions about that.

It turns out ear tubes in general are not intended to be permanent. They're built in a way that as the eardrum grows naturally they'll tend to push the ear tubes out somewhere usually around 9 months. Some are 6 to 12 months.

And the reason they're pushed out is the way the eardrum grows and also the tube has a bigger lip on the outside so it pushes them out into the canal rather than in. Nothing you need to do. They're just there and tend to come out on their own. And then within a couple of weeks afterwards the eardrum reseals.

There are specific tubes that can be designed to stay in longer - say 2 years or even permanent tubes for kids who have reason to have tubes for the long term. They may need to be then taken out surgically at some point down the road.

How do ear tubes come out?

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  • Last reviewed on 9/18/2011
  • David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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This page was last updated: April 14, 2014

         
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