Painful ear infections are a rite of passage for children ? by the age of five, nearly every child has experienced at least one episode. Most ear infections either resolve on their own or are effectively treated with antibiotics. But sometimes, ear infections and/or fluid in the middle ear may become a chronic problem leading to other issues such as hearing loss, behavior, and speech problems. In these cases, insertion of an ear tube by an ear, nose, and throat physician may be considered.