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Inserting ear tubes, or performing a myringotomy with tubes, are an operation in which a small cut is made in the ear drum to relieve pressure caused by pus or fluid in the middle ear. A small tube may then be placed in the cut to allow fluid to drain from the ear and air to pass inside. The tube usually falls out on its own in about a year and the cut heals. While myringotomy is done on both adults and children, it is done most often on children. In fact, it is the most common operation done on children. Myringotomy is generally done to treat ear infections that have not responded well to other treatments, hearing loss due to fluid build-up, and in children, delayed speech development caused by the hearing loss. The benefits of having a myringotomy include less frequent ear infections, hearing improvement, and improvement of speech in adults, as well as children.

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