Has your overall quality of life declined because of clogged ears and debilitating ear pressure? If you suffer from these symptoms, as well as muffled hearing or dizziness, then you may be suffering from a condition known as chronic Eustachian tube dysfunction.
Eustachian tube balloon dilation is a new treatment option that can provide lasting relief for patients suffering from this sinus disorder. Patients frequently ask us, “Can Eustachian tube dysfunction be cured?” We’re proud to say that it can be treated and, for many people suffering from clogged ears and sinuses, relief is in sight. With the help of Kaplan Sinus Relief, a blocked Eustachian tube doesn’t have to mean a lifetime of pain and pressure.
What is Eustachian tube dysfunction?
Eustachian tube dysfunction (ETD) is a condition where the Eustachian tube — which connects the middle ear with the throat — gets blocked or otherwise does not open properly. This makes it difficult (not to mention painful) for air to pass through into the middle ear.
Because of this blockage, the air pressure on the outer side of the eardrum becomes greater than the air pressure on the inner side of the eardrum. The difference in pressure may cause discomfort and/or make sharper hearing difficult. If this pain persists, many patients choose to pursue balloon dilation sinus surgery as a permanent solution.
What Causes Eustachian tube dysfunction?
Chronic Eustachian tube dysfunction, as well as its non-chronic counterpart, can begin with a variety of different respiratory conditions. The most common causes of Eustachian tube dysfunction include the following:
- Excessive mucus
- General inflammation of the Eustachian tube
- Sinus infection
Taking general precautions against these illnesses, such as hand-washing and allergy prevention, can help prevent the onset of both standard and chronic Eustachian tube dysfunction.
Symptoms of Eustachian tube dysfunction:
While the symptoms of Eustachian tube dysfunction are aggravating and painful, they are at least easy to recognize and communicate to your doctor. However, many of the signs that you may be suffering from ETD do overlap with other conditions. A healthcare professional will be able to help you determine the root cause of your pain.
Some of the main symptoms indicating that you may be suffering from Eustachian tube dysfunction include the following:
- Your ears may feel plugged or full
- You may feel a popping or clicking sensation when swallowing or breathing
- You may have pain in one or both ears
- You may hear ringing in your ears (tinnitus)
- You may sometimes have trouble keeping your balance
- Your symptoms may get worse when you are flying, due to attitude changes
- Sounds may be muffled
Please keep in mind that frequent flying, riding in elevators, driving through mountains, or diving may also make your symptoms worse. While they can’t cause Eustachian tube dysfunction, they can exacerbate the underlying causes and lead to heightened pain, pressure, and discomfort.
Untreated Eustachian Tube Dysfunction Complications
If left untreated for an extended period of time — or subjected to activities that actively make the symptoms feel far more intense — Eustachian tube dysfunction may lead to serious complications.
For one, the middle ear may become filled up with fluids, requiring invasive and uncomfortable drainage interventions. Damage to the eardrum and middle ear may also occur. Eustachian tube balloon dilation benefits patients whose symptoms do not clear up, or worsen, over time, making it a sought-after treatment option.
Eustachian Tube Balloon Dilation Treatment
Eustachian tube balloon dilation is becoming an increasingly popular treatment option, particularly among patients who find that decongestants just do not get the job done.
The procedure opens up the tunnel that connects the middle ear with the back of the nose, the titular Eustachian tube. If a sinus specialist from Kaplan Sinus Relief determines that balloon dilation is right for your sinus needs, the procedure can actually be done right there in the office on the same day.
You will first be given local anesthesia to numb the inside of your nose, then a balloon is placed in the Eustachian tube via your nose. Then, your doctor will insert and gently inflate the balloon to dilate the treatment area, which expands the Eustachian tube to restore its open pathway and encourage clear, painless breathing.
How long does eustachian tube balloon dilation last? We know that this process sounds complicated, but fortunately, the procedure lasts no more than two to three minutes and the results are long-lasting.
Eustachian tube balloon dilation recovery time
Our patients enjoy hearing that there truly is very little to Eustachian tube balloon dilation recovery. In fact, their regular activities may often be resumed the very next day — but it is always advised to take the next day to rest.
What’s more, the results of Eustachian tube balloon dilation last a lifetime, so there shouldn’t be much need for a touch-up except in extreme circumstances. You will likely have a follow-up appointment to ensure that the results are still favorable, just in case.
Schedule Eustachian tube balloon dilation in Houston with Kaplan Sinus Relief
If you believe that Eustachian tube balloon dilation may be right for you, we’re ready to provide you with a quick route toward long-lasting relief. Dr. Kaplan has helped hundreds of Houstonians treat their ETD with incredible success, and with his help, you can say goodbye to clogged ears and hello to a better quality of life!
Schedule an appointment with us today and learn more about everything Kaplan Sinus Relief offers when it comes to improving your respiratory health.