Middle ear infections most often occur in children younger than seven years because of their immature immune systems and poor function of the Eustachian tube. The medical term for middle ear infection is otitis media (middle ear inflammation). Symptoms of otitis media can include ear pain/irritability, fever and hearing loss. A child is considered a candidate for ear tubes if they have had persistent otitis media for at least three months with documented hearing loss or if they are considered at risk for speech, language, or learning problems with a documented flat tympanogram (ear drum not moving). Placement of tubes significantly improves hearing, reduces the incidence of otitis media, provides drainage of the middle ear space, allows administration of antibiotic ear drops through the tubes, and improves disease specific quality of life measures.
More information provided by the American Academy of Otolaryngology on tubes is on the website http://www.entnet.org/HealthInformation/Ear-Tubes.cfm
The tonsils are two masses of lymphoid tissue found on either side of the back of the throat. The adenoids are lymphoid tissue located high in the throat behind the nose. Together they form part of a ring of glandular lymphoid tissue at the back of the throat. The tonsils and adenoids assist the body in defense against infection by “sampling” entering bacteria and viruses. They then help form antibodies to resist and fight future infections. However, the tonsils and adenoids often become susceptible to recurrent bacterial infections. Tonsillectomy is the surgical removal of the tonsils. A tonsillectomy is recommended when an individual has recurrent episodes of tonsillitis or an infection that has not gotten better with medical treatment. Tonsillectomy may also be performed if enlarged tonsils cause snoring, mouth breathing and difficulty swallowing. An adenoidectomy can be performed at the same time, as swollen adenoids are often associated with enlarged tonsils or tonsillitis
More information provided by the American Academy of Otolaryngology on tonsils and adenoids is on the website http://www.entnet.org/HealthInformation/tonsilsAdenoids.cfm