A ventilation tube is a medical product that is used to help those with breathing problems or to drain fluid that is trapped behind the eardrum normally in children. Both types of ventilation tubes are to aid in receiving air into the lungs or to ensure the air pressure is the same in the middle ear as it is on the outside.
The need for a ventilation tube
Fluid can become trapped in the area behind the eardrum allowing bacteria to grow which will result in infection. The Eustachian tubes found in the ears cannot drain the fluid in children as it does with adults, which allows the fluid to build. This is the beginning of an ear infection. The sad news is that even after the ear infection has been treated and is gone, fluid can still remain trapped, thus reoccurring ear infections are inevitable. A ventilation tube is inserted into the ear to drain the fluid.
Those suffering from COPD often have the need for a ventilation tube to help with breathing difficulties during an attack. There are two types of ventilation used for individuals suffering with COPD, which includes invasive and non-invasive.
Invasive is when a ventilation tube is placed in the throat via surgery.
Noninvasive on the other hand uses a mask that drives air in the lungs. The mask is placed over the nose and mouth.
Medical issues requiring ventilation
For ventilation tubes in the ears the medical issues revolved around the need for a tube includes:
- Fluid has been trapped for more than four months
- Fluid is found in both ears
- Reoccurring ear infections that are not improving with the use of antibiotics
For ventilation tubes in the throat, the medical issue is an attack. An attack is when the lungs are producing more mucus or the bronchial tubes are narrower. This means the lungs are not receiving the proper airflow and it is harder for the person to breath or coughing is more prominent.
The symptoms of an attack include:
- Shortness of breath
- Excess coughing
- Discolored or changes in the color of the mucus
Prevention of needing ventilation
A few things that can be done to prevent ear infections in children and the need for a ventilation tube include avoid exposure to smokers, and drinking a bottle while lying down. If your child has allergies, you should ensure the child is taking the proper medication to prevent fluid build up. If your child has a cold as is prone to ear infections, immediate treatment is the most important. In order to stop the fluid build-up, parents have to stay on top on their children health.
Preventing a COPD attack is not possible. With conditions such as these, preventing the disease itself is the best way to ensure you will not have a breathing problem or the need for a ventilation tube.