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3 Reasons To Consider Eustachian Tube Balloon Dilation

The eustachian tube is a small passageway that connects your throat to your middle ear. When you sneeze, swallow, or yawn, your eustachian tubes open. This keeps air pressure and fluid from building up inside your ear. But sometimes a eustachian tube might get plugged causing ear pain and muffled hearing, among other symptoms. Millions of children and adults are finding relief thanks to a small, balloon-like device that allows doctors to perform a noninvasive procedure known as Eustachian Tube Balloon Dilation. Not sure if this procedure is for you? Here are 3 reasons why you may want to consider Eustachian Tube Balloon Dilation.

You Have Ear Pressure While Flying

Do you often have trouble clearing your ears while flying? You are not alone, as one of the most common medical complaints of air travelers is ear pressure. The rapid change in altitude during take-off and landing does not allow enough time for the pressure inside the inner ear and the pressure outside to equalize. This pressure difference causes the stretching of the eardrum, resulting in pain. There are several ways to equalize the pressure yourself such as swallowing or chewing gum. These strategies often fail for those with eustachian tube dysfunction, a cold, or persistent allergies, resulting in a ruptured eardrum or severe infection. The Eustachian Tube Balloon Dilation procedure works to widen the eustachian tube, allowing for pressure equalization and a more comfortable flying experience.

You Have an Ear Tube

Ear tubes are surgically inserted into the eardrum to provide drainage and ventilation to middle ears that have had persistent fluid buildup or frequent infections. The procedure to place ear tubes is relatively safe but does include possible risks such as bleeding, infection, weakening of the eardrum, and failure of the eardrum to close after the tube falls out or is removed. In clinical trials, the Eustachian Tube Balloon procedure resulted in no adverse effects and had a 99.7% success rate in dilating eustachian tubes. This procedure is a low-risk alternative to ear tubes and, unlike ear tube placement, only needs to be performed once.

You Get Colds or Sinus/Ear Infections Often

When the eustachian tube is blocked from a cold or sinus/ear infection, air can no longer pass through. Stuffy ears and noses, hearing loss, ear pain, pressure, and ringing in the ears (tinnitus) can be the result. Nasal sprays and antihistamine tablets reduce inflammation and congestion but unfortunately, they do not work for everyone.

Eustachian Tube Balloon Dilation is a minimally invasive procedure that takes about 10 minutes and offers long-term results. If you have ear pressure while flying, have an ear tube (or think you need one), or suffer from frequent colds or sinus/ear infections, this procedure could be for you. Call Dr. Dean’s office at (817) 406-1376 to find out if you are a candidate for the Eustachian Tube Balloon Dilation procedure.

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