Ear (Myringotomy) Tubes - Home Care

After the insertion of myringotomy tubes, it’s important to follow these home care instructions until your doctor tells you otherwise.

Diet

Drink clear liquids after surgery and gradually resume a regular diet, as tolerated. Avoid milk products and greasy or fatty foods for at least four hours after the procedure to avoid stomach upset.

Activity

Children may play quietly, with adult supervision. The day after surgery, they may resume normal activities, including returning to school.

Swimming is not allowed without your doctor’s approval.

Ear care

Keep the ear clean and dry. Water in the ear can cause infection. To keep it dry when around water such as during bathing or showering, coat a cotton ball with petroleum jelly (such as Vaseline) and place it into the ear. You can also use ear plugs or wear properly fitted swimmer ear molds.

Apply ear drops, if prescribed. Hold the bottle in your hand for five minutes to warm the drops before inserting them into the ear. Use one of the ear drop application techniques listed below.

Stop using the ear drops if they cause severe pain or if you can taste them after they are placed into the ear.

Ear drop application techniques

  • Adult: Place the drops directly into the ear canal and allow several minutes for the drops to reach the ear drum.
  • Children: Place the child on his or her back or side with the affected ear facing up. Pull the ear upward and back, then insert the drops.

Special concerns

  • Drainage: If there is drainage from the ear, contact your doctor. Don’t put a cotton ball into the ear unless your doctor tells you to.
  • Discomfort: Ear popping or cracking is common after this procedure. There also may be pain when burping, yawning, or chewing. This discomfort will disappear as the ear heals.

Follow-up care

Arrange follow-up visits with your doctor.

 

If you have other questions, call:

____________________________________________

____________________________________________

____________________________________________

 

©  UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Supplemental content provided by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions. All rights reserved.

For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

Medical information made available on UPMC.com is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, UPMC.com is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

For UPMC Mercy Patients: As a Catholic hospital, UPMC Mercy abides by the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, as determined by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. As such, UPMC Mercy neither endorses nor provides medical practices and/or procedures that contradict the moral teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

© UPMC
Pittsburgh, PA, USA UPMC.com