What is a grommet

A grommet is a ventilation tube that is placed in the eardrum by the ENT surgeon. It can be placed under local anaesthetic but in children and not infrequently it can be placed under a general anaesthetic.

There are many reasons why grommets are inserted but usually they are to ventilate the middle ear space where the small ossicles of the ear are situated.

Indications for grommet placement include

Glue ear with a significant defecit in hearing persisting for greater than 3 months

Reccurent episodes of acute middle ear infections

Significant retraction pockets

Part of another operation to maintain ventilation of the middle ear


Grommets can be short term and long term and can last from a few months to a few years. The longer term grommets have a higher incidence of leaving a hole in the eardrum when they extrude.