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Eustachian tube dysfunction: what it is, symptoms, and treatment

Balloon Sinuplasty for Sinus Sufferers

 The eustachian tubes, or “ear tubes” as a lot of people refer to them, are the small tubes in the middle ear that connect the ear to the throat. They are responsible for ventilating and equalizing pressure in the ear, and can also help prevent ear infections by draining fluid.

 Normally working tubes are closed except for when we sneeze, yawn, or swallow. During these times they open to release pressure.

 When something blocks these tubes, it’s known as Eustachian Tube Dysfunction.

The symptoms of ETD

Symptoms can vary and will likely get worse when you change altitudes, including flying, riding in an elevator, diving, or driving in through mountains.

The symptoms may resolve when you reach a normal altitude, but if they don’t, you may need treatment. 

Symptoms include:

  • Ear fullness
  • Plugged ears
  • Tinnitus
  • Clicking or popping in the ears
  • Muffled hearing
  • A ticklish feeling inside the ears
  • Ear pain
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Nausea
Sinus Surgery Alternatives

ETD treatment options

The cartilage lining in your eustachian tubes is very similar to the lining in your nose. This means that they will act similarly during issues like allergies, colds, and the flu.

This also means that they may respond to common sinus pain treatments like antihistamines, pain relievers, decongestants, and other medications.

However, if your symptoms last more than 10 days or you repeatedly suffer from ETD, it’s time to schedule with Pittsburgh Sinus Centers for a long-term treatment option.

Eustachian tube dilation: a minimally invasive approach to middle ear health

In the past, traditional eustachian tube surgery was invasive and came with a long recovery period. Now there’s a better option called Eustachian tube dilation.

Eustachian tube dilation is a type of balloon dilation that’s less invasive than traditional surgery and opens the tubes during a treatment performed right in the comfort of the office.

The safety and effectiveness of balloon dilation has been proven time and time again in a number of studies.

The results of the treatment include fewer complications and fast, effective relief.

Stop suffering from ear pain and fullness

If you think you’ve been suffering with ETD, now is the time to schedule with Pittsburgh Sinus Centers. We can diagnose and treat underlying ear conditions in a way that gives you lasting relief.

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