Even such a simple aid as the grommet to widen the ear canal - can help prevent the return of infections of the outer ear canal or be used in preparation for surgical correction of the eardrum such as tympanoplasty.
Human hearing involves a spectrum of interacting complex processes. First, sound waves have to pass through the outer ear to get to the eardrum in order to vibrate the auditory ossicles behind. In this way the sound waves are transmitted to the inner ear.
If the ear canal has narrowed, this can lead to recurrent ear infections, which can be very painful and unpleasant. The surgical enlargement of the ear canal, which we call canaloplasty in ENT medicine, can be an effective means to reduce the frequency and severity of infections.
Other surgical methods to open the ear canal, e.g. tympanoplasty, may be considered. When the ear canal is very narrow, the operation is difficult for the surgeon and can even mean the space required for minimally invasive microsurgery or endoscopic surgery is severely restricted. Thus the simple grommet is a virtually mandatory requirement for further operations on the middle ear.