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A 20-year-old female asked:

How does a doctor drain a ear for an ear infection. do you have to be put to sleep?

3 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Joseph De Santi
Family Medicine 30 years experience
Tapping the Drum: The ear canal and drum can be effectively anesthetized with local anesthetic drops in the office. Using the proper instruments an ENT physician can then easily make a minature incision in the membrane of the drum and allow painful, high pressure fluid accumulations to easily drain. A small tube is often inserted to allow further drainage of the infectious fluid which later falls out by itself.
Dr. Patrick Melder
ENT and Head and Neck Surgery 28 years experience
For adults... Very simply done in the office... For children... In the OR.
Dec 9, 2011
Dr. Mary Ann Block
A Verified Doctoranswered
33 years experience
Not osteopaths: Some osteopathic physicians know how to do a gentle massage that can drain the fluid naturally from the ears, down the eustachian tube as it is intended to do.
Dr. Albert Pizzo
Family Medicine 61 years experience
For middle ear infections that develop pus in the middle ear that will not drain out the eustachian tubes as it is like glue (called glue ear), doctors can make a small slit in the tympanic membraine to drain the ear so it can heal. They sometimes insert ear tubes until the ear is well.
Dec 15, 2011
Dr. David Astrachan
ENT and Head and Neck Surgery 38 years experience
Rarely needs surgery: True fluid and hearing loss most often will clear on its own with decongestants and treatment for whatever led to the fluid in the first place (uri, sinusitis, allergy). This can be combined with holding your nose and blowing into the nose trying to "pop" your ears. Rarely fluid won't clear and adults can have it drained under a local or topical anesthetic. Fluid is often misdiagnosed - watch out!

Similar questions

A 47-year-old member asked:

What side should you sleep if you have an ear infection?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Ronald Krauser
A Verified Doctoranswered
Rheumatology 53 years experience
It does not matter: Sleep on the side that is most comfortable for you.
Last updated Feb 5, 2020


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