12 answers

How to Get Ear Tube Out of Canal.

Hi Moms,
My now 7 year old daughter had ear tubes put in her ears in May 2007. The procedure went well and she has been without any problems since then but now one of them has come out of the ear drum and is sitting in her ear canal. I took her for her 7 year checkup and the pediatrician noticed and tried to remove it which caused her ALOT of pain. He said it was lodged in earwax and had started to fester so it irritated her so when he tried to remove it, it HURT. He told me if I did not see it after a week to let him know. Well, I took her back after 10 days and he still could not remove it, even after a water flush and probbing. The ENT told me as long as it doesn't bother her, not to worry about it. I can see it but am afraid to put anything in her ear. Anyone got anyways to encourage it to come out??? They never tell you anything when you elect to put these things in.

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I agree to go with what the ENT says - but you might also consider getting a second opinion from another ENT.

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Just got home from the surgeons office , my daughter had tubes put in in 2005... 5 yrs later she now has one stuck in the ear drum with skin covering over and a cyst forming....i feel awful for her and now we are off to another surgeon to have it removed. surgically!... have them get it out now while they can. More anesthetic and day surgery that shouldn't have been necessary. So disappointed and worried for my daughter

when the 1st set of my daughter's ear tubes fell (one of them) got stuck in the canal, i was told by pediatrician and ENT to leave it alone as the body would take care of it. i was so nervous about it. as i should have been. the tube got stuck in canal, irritated the canal, caused bleeding, flesh grew around it, they had to use anesthesia to go in and remove it.
so, that said, you call your ENT and say you want it out, one way or another. per my experience, tube stuck in canal could go either way, fall on its own, or cause more problems, scaring etc.
i never trust ENTs anymore. if my gut feeling tells me something, i speak up and don't allow them to NOT do anything when clearly something needs to be done.

You can get Debrox which is an over the counter ear wax softener. All you do it put a certain number of drops in the ear for 5-10 days and it significantly softens the wax and makes it easy to remove. Good luck!

Hi C.,

Has anyone told you about DEBROX? Its a fluid (drops) to put into the ear canal to *dissolve?* away ear wax.

Most stores have a generic - its cheaper and does the exact same thing. I use it for myself and my son every couple months- there is no pain with it.

This may help to get rid of any extra wax that may be holding the tube in place. Use this daily, or maybe even a couple times a day for a couple days, then flush with water every other day with a bulb syringe to flush out anything that is loose. Do this until the tube loosens and hopefully comes out on its own.

I used the one I got from the hospital because it holds more water, but they do have them in the ear care section of any store - right by the debrox, or it may come in a "ear wax removal kit".

Unfortunately, it may also be a case of the tube getting lodged inside the canal and "grew" into the flesh. If nothing happens (loosening or removal) with wax removal and flushing after a week or so, go back to the doctor, tell him what you have been trying, and ask for a ct scan to be sure its not grown into the flesh.

Good luck

Go w/ whatever the ENT says! The tube will come out eventually. YOu may want to place 2-3 drops of hydrogen peroxide into her ear as it may help in dissolving the wax and loosening the tube.

i wouldn't put anything in there, but maybe some ear wax loosening stuff. they sell it in the drug store. if the wax loosens up, maybe it will fall out.

Tell her to throw her bathing suit on & let her take an extra long bath w/bubbles & whatever she would like. Make a game of her soaking her head under enough water so the water goes into her ears...................I bet you that will soften it and it will come out after that. My oldest had them when she was 17 months and thankfully hers were both visible and the ENT could remove them easily, but they were truly a godsend. Good luck!

I'm not sure if it will work or not, but, when I had ear infections, my mom used to put a little oil on cotton and put it in my ear. I think if you put a little extra, it will lubricate the ear and the tube and it might move position and come out. Good luck.

i have a 7 yr old on her 2nd pair of tubes..the first set one of them came out and also stuck to the inside ear area..they unfortunately had to go in and surgically remove it becuase nothing seemed to help it out..the 2nd set now is doing the same thing..but this time the doctor gave me a perscription of an ear drop to use 3 times a day for 10 days prior to the visit in jan 2010 to help get it out..if not on its own then by the time we do the visit it should be soft enough for them to take out with out any pain..(or so i am hoping that is how it will work).it is called neomy/polymb/hc otic susp...this is a genaric for cortisporin otic susp....not sure if this will help your little one but it might be worth a try to see what her doctor thinks about it..good luck and take care..rosie

What did you mean by "fester?" Do you swelling or inflammation, or a pus-like discharge? If so, you should go to the ENT to get that evaluated.

But if its all waxy buildup and no discharge, swelling, or inflammation, you don't need to do anything about it to remove it as long as your child is not bothered by it. The ear tube is designed to fall out on its own without any intervention. It sometimes can get stuck in wax but usually that is OK. No one should be picking at it.

However, I would not yet consider using earwax softening agents, like oils or hydrogen peroxide, to the ears just yet. Remember that the tube was there in the first place to create an artificial hole in the ear drum. What normally happens is the ear, noticing there is a "foreign body" there, will attempt to heal itself, slowly pushing out the tube in the process. You really cannot be totally certain if the tube is completely detached now from the eardrum or not and you are not sure if the eardrum has totally repaired itself or not. The confirmation of total healing is assumed when the tube has totally fallen out of the ear. It's really a theoretical risk, but because it is a risk, if your child is not bothered by the tube in the canal, I would strongly suggest to leave it be.

I agree to go with what the ENT says - but you might also consider getting a second opinion from another ENT.

I actually still have a tube in one of my ears (they were put in in my 20's, I'm now 36!). I think it depends on the person but one of mine never came out and they said to just leave it. It doesn't cause me any problems at all and I barely remember that it is there. I have never had any ear infection problems since the tubes were put in. I'd follow the advice of an ENT but you can always get a second opinion if you want. Good luck!

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