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Hearing management

Updated 06 December 2017

Ear Tubes Appear to Be Safe Before Cochlear Implantation

No adverse effects noted in pediatric study

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MONDAY, June 21 (HealthDay News) -- Using ear tubes to treat infections is safe for children who later receive cochlear implants, a new study finds.

U.S. researchers studied 78 ears of 62 children (average age 3.2 years) who received ear tubes before cochlear implants. In 46 (59 percent) of the cases, the ear tubes were removed before cochlear implantation surgery. In all the other cases, the ear tubes were left in place until cochlear implantation.

The study found that 10 (22 percent) of the 46 ears in which the tubes were removed before cochlear implantation required additional tubes later, compared with six (19 percent) of the 32 ears in which tubes remained in place until cochlear implantation.

The study is published in the June issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery.

The eardrums of all the children in the study healed, but three persistent eardrum perforations required surgery. There were no cases of meningitis or removal of cochlear implants because of infection.

"The minimization of potential infectious complications is a priority for the cochlear implant surgeon who is operating on a child with a history of myringotomy tube placement," Dr. Christopher F. Baranano and colleagues at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Medical School said in a news release from the journal's publisher. "While manipulation of the tympanic membrane [ear drum] with myringotomy tube insertion, myringotomy tube exchange or perforation repair is not without risks, in the current study the management of the myringotomy tube before cochlear implantation did not adversely affect outcomes."

More information

The American Academy of Pediatrics has more about ear infections.

 

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Dr Kara Hoffman graduated from UCT in 2004, thereafter she completed her year of community service in Durban. In 2010 she completed her Masters Degree in Paediatric Aural Rehabilitation from UKZN. In 2016, she became a Doctor of Audiology through the University of Arizona (ATSU). Dr Hoffman and her partner Lauren Thompson opened a fully diagnostic audiology practice called Thompson & Hoffman Audiology Inc. In 2011 with world-class technology and equipment to be able to offer the broad public all hearing-related services including hearing testing for adults and babies, vestibular (balance) assessments and rehabilitation, industrial audiology, hearing devices, central auditory processing assessments for school-aged children, school screening, neonatal hearing screening programmes at Alberlito and Parklands Hospital, cochlear implants and other implantable devices, medicolegal assessments and advanced electroacoustic assessments of hearing. Thompson and Hoffman Audiology Inc. are based at Alberlito Hospital in Ballito, St Augustines Hospital in Durban and at 345 Essenwood Road, Musgrave. The practices are all wheelchair friendly. There are three audiologists that practice from Thompson & Hoffman – including Dr Kara Hoffman, Lauren Thompson & Minette Lister. The practice boasts professional, highly qualified, and extensive diagnostic services where all your hearing healthcare needs can be met. The additional licensing in vestibular assessment and rehabilitation, paediatric rehabilitation and cochlear implantation places this practice in one of the top specialist audiological positions in South Africa, with a wealth of experience in all clinical areas of audiology and is a very well respected and sought-after practice.

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