girl visiting ent consultant

Why do children need grommets?

Grommets are small ventilation tubes placed into the eardrum.

They are used if a child is getting recurrent ear infections or if there is a build-up of fluid behind the ear drums (glue ear), causing hearing impairment.

The procedure is done under a general anaesthetic (or under local in the occasional adult) as a day case procedure.

The middle ears ventilate through the grommets, preventing regular infections and the further build-up of fluid.

They are usually pushed out by the body after around 18 months.

Often an adenoidectomy is done at the same time, as large adenoids block the Eustachian tubes, which should be ventilating the ear. In addition, children’s Eustachian tubes are small and can block easily with repeated infections.

After the grommets come out, it is unlikely to need further sets.

Rarely a grommet may get stuck in the eardrum but can easily be removed in a minor procedure.

What is a grommet?

It is a small ventilation tube placed into the eardrum.

When is it used?

It is used to improve hearing when the middle ear is blocked with mucous (glue ear) which doesn’t clear when given enough time, or for repeated middle ear infections.

When does it come out?

A grommet is usually expelled spontaneously after around 18 months.