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Am J Otolaryngol. 1994 May-Jun;15(3):193-6.

The effect of water exposure after tympanostomy tube insertion.

Author information

1
Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Unprotected water exposure as a cause of otorrhea in patients with tympanostomy tubes remains controversial. Although most otolaryngologists continue to recommend either the avoidance of swimming or the use of water precautions during swimming, evidence indicates that the infection rate may not be affected by this practice. This study prospectively evaluates the possible role of unprotected water exposure in the occurrence of post-tympanostomy-tube otorrhea.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Two hundred twelve consecutive patients undergoing tympanostomy tube placement were randomized into swimming and nonswimming groups. No special precautions (eg, ear plugs, canal occlusion, antibiotic drugs) were used in either group. This incidence of otorrhea was then compared between these groups.

RESULTS:

One-year follow-up was obtained in 107 patients. There was no significant difference in the incidence of otorrhea or the number of otorrhea episodes between the two groups.

CONCLUSIONS:

Swimming is not contraindicated in patients with tympanostomy tubes, and water precautions do not decrease the incidence of otorrhea.

PMID:
8024107
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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