The Eustachian tube runs between the middle ear and the sinuses and controls the pressure within the middle ear, equalizing it with the air pressure outside of the body. It is typically closed, opening only when you yawn, chew or swallow. However, nasal congestion, infection or allergies may cause inflammation, swelling or fluid in the ear and this leads to issues with the eustachian tube. This may be painful or muffle your hearing. This can be particularly bad when flying or driving on large hills. If a prolonged problem, it can lead to more serious ear health issues.
Most times this issue will resolve itself within a few days or up to two weeks. Doctors may prescribe some decongestants or antihistamines to help reduce the swelling. However, some individuals experience recurring issues with their eustachian tubes that require further treatment.
Previously, the only options available were to make a tiny incision and drain fluid from the middle ear or, implant small tubes in the eardrums to allow fluid to drain away. However, there is now a new procedure now available that uses a small balloon to expand the Eustachian tubes, allowing fluid to drain and helping to improve the problem at its source.
This minimally invasive procedure has fewer risks than the previously mentioned options as well as a quicker recovery time. Studies show this procedure provides effective, extended relief of symptoms.
If you are interested to learn more about balloon dilation of the Eustachian tube and see if you might be a good candidate, book a consultation with Dr. Rotenberg today.