fluid". It's basically the power of suggestion. The patient says it hurts and the healthcare provider sees fluid or infection that is not really there. If your child is really getting that many ear infections, then he/she may benefit from tubes. In order to meet criteria though, first they need to have one abnormal tympanogram to prove that the infection/pain is really from the ear. Typically, a tympanogram will be abnormal for at least a week (sometimes up to 6 weeks after an infection). What I do is have these patients follow up with me as soon as they can after the next ear infection/ear pain. Normal tympanogram, then we know it is not the ears, but pain from elsewhere. If that tympanogram is abnormal, then can proceed to putting tubes in the child's ear and hopefully prevent all of the ear infections. If you put tubes in the child's ear, but the pain is caused by the teeth, or the tonsils, then the ear pain will persist and the child will have had a surgery that they really did not need.