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Can Surgery Help for Ear Infections?

a young man having his ear examined by an audiologist

It can be deeply uncomfortable to live with an ear infection. That’s because they can cause any number of unwanted symptoms, such as dizziness, earache and hearing loss. While it can be a little scary to be diagnosed with an ear infection, it’s important to remember that there are always options available that’ll help you to get rid of the infection once and for all. In some cases, all that’ll be required is some minor medical intervention; for example, some infections can be removed by using medicated ear cream or drops. But that’s not always an option. In this blog, we’ll discuss another favored option when it comes to treating ear infections - surgery. 

Surgery for ear infections

Regular medication won’t always be an option when it comes to treating an ear infection. In some cases, surgical intervention will be required. This is usually necessary when the infection has become more advanced, such as when the bacteria of the infection has become set in the bone. 

It’s also an option when it becomes clear that an infection is chronic, rather than acute; if it seems as if the infection will only disappear temporarily with medication, then surgery may be recommended. There are many different types of surgery available, as we’ll see below. But essentially, the most important thing to note is that if you’re experiencing recurring or severe ear infections, then you will be able to get help in the shape of a surgical procedure. 

Types of surgery 

There are many different types of surgery available when it comes to ear infections. The one that’s right for you will depend on various factors, including the location of the infection. Below are some examples of the most common types of surgery for ear infections.

Myringoplasty

If your ear infection has not affected your ear bone or the middle ear, then myringoplasty surgery may be the best course of action. With this technique, the eardrum is repaired, which reduces the chance of the infection entering the inner part of the ear. It’s a relatively straightforward procedure that can be performed under local or general anesthetic. One of the main benefits of this surgery is that it can help to improve hearing. It can take a few weeks for the benefits of the surgery to be noticed, but once they arrive, they tend to be long-lasting.

Tympanoplasty

If you’ve got an inner ear infection and have problems with your hearing, then a tympanoplasty surgical procedure may be recommended. Its chief aim is to repair the damage that infections have caused. Once the inner ear infection has been successfully vanquished, the specialist will repair the eardrum using tissue from elsewhere in the body. This can help to make the eardrum stronger and thus improves hearing. 

Mastoidectomy

This type of surgery deals with one of the spaces in the ear where infection is most likely to occur. If you’ve got an infection in this area, then it’ll be important to have surgery as soon as possible, because this part of the ear is connected to so many other parts of the body, including the brain and facial nerve. During this procedure, the mastoid part of the ear is cleaned. The process involves making an incision on the outer ear, and then removing any abnormal aspects that don’t belong there. A period of up to three weeks is usually required before full recovery is made.

Canal wall down mastoidectomy

If your ear infection has caused the ear canal to be destroyed, then things can be fixed with a canal wall down mastoidectomy surgical procedure. It’s designed so that the ear canal space is closed up.

Meatoplasty

In some cases, certain areas of the ear have to be enlarged so that other surgical procedures can be performed. One of the most common issues is when the outer part of the canal is too small. This can be enlarged with the meatoplasty procedure. During this procedure, some of the cartilage is removed, which makes the inner ear easier to access. 

If you have an ear infection and want to know more about your treatment options, then give Independence Ear, Nose, & Throat a call today at 772-888-1880 or contact us through our website. We have a team of experienced and knowledgeable specialists that can advise you on the best course of action for your ear infection, which could involve medical treatment or surgery. You can also get in touch for any other ear, nose and throat issues that you may be experiencing, as well.