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HomeAnswersOtolaryngology (E.N.T)ear infectionWhy do I have ear infections post-ear and nose surgery?

Can surgery for inferior turbinate reduction and deviated septum cause frequent ear infections?

The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Medically reviewed by

iCliniq medical review team

Published At June 3, 2023
Reviewed AtOctober 10, 2023

Patient's Query

Hi doctor,

I had inferior turbinate reduction surgery and a deviated septum fixed about three months ago. The doctor said the surgery went normal, and my breathing was excellent. About a month after the surgery, I started to get frequent ear infections in both ears. Can either of those surgeries cause frequent ear infections? How would I know? Please help. Thank you.

Answered by Dr. Mehak Agarwal


Welcome to icliniq.com.

I understand your concern. Turbinate reduction surgery with septal correction is predominantly done for relieving nasal obstruction. Whereas continued obstruction can increase the chances of ear infection, surgeries should generally reduce the chances. The eustachian tube that connects the back of the nose with each ear is responsible for maintaining appropriate pressure inside the middle ear and removing secretions and mucus discharge from the normal mucosa of the ear. Any nasopharyngeal growth (adenoids) or frequent upper respiratory tract infections (rhinitis, tonsillitis, and pharyngitis) block the tube, causing insufficient ventilation into the same side ear. This can eventually result in an ear infection and discharge from the ear. To rule out any nasal cause for the eustachian tube blockage, we must check the following and arrive at the correct diagnosis. 1. What do you mean by an ear infection? Is it discharging ear? 2. Do you have a running nose, sneezing, nose block, itching of nose and ears, thick nasal discharge, etc.? 3. Do you get frequent throat infections along with ear infections? 4. Are both ears affected? 5. Does a nasal endoscopy or a computed tomography scan of paranasal sinuses been done for you? If so, could you share the pictures, reports, and films of the same? 6. Is there any associated headache, facial fullness, or decreased sense of smell? Also, an endoscopy is crucial to find if there is any physical block to the tube that is causing the ear infection. We also need the findings of an otoscopy regarding the condition of your ear drum. I hope the information will help you. Thanks.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Mehak Agarwal
Dr. Mehak Agarwal

Otolaryngology (E.N.T)

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