Grommets are tubes which sit in the tympanic membrane and allow air to get in through the hole in the tube into the middle ear.
Grommets are inserted for the following reasons:
- 3 episodes of acute otitis media in 6 months
- 4 episodes of acute otitis media in one year
- Otitis media with effusion in both ears for 3 months
- Otitis media with effusion in one ear for 6 months
Prior to having a grommet inserted, Dr Robinson will usually ask that the patient has a current hearing test. Insertion of grommets in adults can be done under local anaesthetic. Insertion of grommets in children is done under general anaesthetic.
Inserting grommets only take a few minutes and can easily be done as a day surgery procedure.
Expect to have a small discharge of either blood or pus from the ear canal after the grommets have been inserted. Pain is not a big feature of having grommets inserted. Dr Robinson may prescribe antibiotic drops after the operation for a few days.
Getting the ears wet should be avoided for the first week after grommets are inserted. After the grommets are inserted children can continue swimming lessons, but should wear ear plugs and a cap over the top of their ears when they go swimming. Children should also avoid diving to the bottom of the pool as well as putting their head underwater in the bath. Ear plugs and a cap are not required when having a shower.
Dr Robinson normally sees patients after they have had grommets inserted, at one month post operatively and then one year post operatively.