What is Eustachian Tube Dysfunction?
Eustachian tube dysfunction is an affliction that can lead to chronic ear pressure and pain or discomfort with barometric changes. Typically, when you yawn, chew, sneeze, or swallow, your Eustachian tubes – small passageways that run between your middle ear and upper throat – open to keep pressure and fluid from building up. If you experience a blocked Eustachian tube – also known as Eustachian tube dysfunction – your ears may feel full or painful, and your hearing may seem muffled.
What are the symptoms of Eustachian Tube Dysfunction?
A buildup of mucus in the middle ear causes symptoms of Eustachian tube dysfunction. These symptoms are often mild and limited to a few days following a cold or flu. If symptoms last more than two weeks, recur frequently, or are severe, schedule an appointment with Dr. Brodner.
What are the causes of Eustachian Tube Dysfunction?
Altitude changes can also cause problems with the Eustachian tubes or aggravate existing inflammation. Activities such as diving, hiking, flying on a plane, or even riding an elevator could cause symptoms.
If the Eustachian tubes become inflamed – typically due to illness or allergies – mucus or fluid can build up. This improper drainage causes pressure, fullness, pain, and/or hearing changes that characterize the condition.
Treatment Options for Ear Pressure Relief
Eustachian Tube Balloon Dilation System Eustachian tube dysfunction usually resolves in a few days to two weeks without treatment. You can take certain actions to open up the tubes, such as swallowing, yawning, or chewing gum. Babies and toddlers with Eustachian tube dysfunction may benefit from frequent feeding or sucking on a pacifier.
If these strategies don’t help, Dr. Brodner may suggest the Eustachian Tube Balloon Dilation System.
An Unmet Need
A 2016 study showed that most ENTs are seeing at least four patients with Eustachian tube dysfunction symptoms each week. With some 2 million doctor visits annually, these patients are in need of an effective treatment option.
Limited Treatment Options
Of the 7.3 million adults suffering from Eustachian tube dysfunction, approximately only 111 thousand of those patients are getting treatment. This could be because current treatment options for Eustachian tube dysfunction are limited and invasive. Some options provide temporary relief but often cause other problems.
Hope for Relief
There is histological evidence that demonstrates balloon dilation of the Eustachian tubes crushes the inflamed mucosa that is then sloughed off and replaced with healthy mucosa. Additionally, a number of clinical studies have examined the safety and effectiveness of Eustachian tube balloon dilation. These studies demonstrate high rates of technical success along with a very low incidence of adverse events.
A recent prospective, multicenter, randomized trial of the XprESS® balloon dilation device in patients with persistent ETD demonstrated superior clinical evidence over medical treatment with a 0% complication rate.
Call Dr. Brodner Today for a Eustachian Tube Dysfunction Consult
Interested in learning more about Eustachian Tube Dilation or whether you are a candidate for treatment? Call 561.735.8750 to book an appointment with Dr. David C. Brodner and get the answers to all your questions! You can also fill out the form on our contact page, and our staff will help you set up your consult. Dr. Brodner serves patients all over South Florida.