Introducing a New Treatment for Eustachian Tube Dysfunction

The Eustachian tube is a passageway made of bone and cartilage that allows air to enter into the middle ear, behind the eardrum. This allows the pressure to equalize across the drum.  Eustachian tube dysfunction (ETD) occurs in about 5% of adults and can cause ear pressure, pain, hearing loss and tinnitus amongst other symptoms.  Patients with ETD can get fluid in their ears after flights, allergies or colds, are predisposed to getting ear infections, and can develop retraction of the ear drum which can lead to a cyst of skin in the ear called cholesteatoma. In the past, there was little to offer patients with ETD other than allergy and sinus care or ventilation tube insertion. The FDA has recently approved a new treatment for ETD. The ACCLARENT AERA™ Eustachian Tube Balloon Dilation System is the first device in the US indicated to dilate the Eustachian tube.

Eustachian Tube Dysfunction Treatment

The ACCLARENT AERA™ system uses a small balloon to treat persistent ETD. With the ACCLARENT AERA™system, a doctor uses a catheter to insert a small balloon through the patient’s nose and into the Eustachian tube. Once inflated, the balloon opens up a pathway for mucus and air to flow through the Eustachian tube, which may help restore proper function. After the Eustachian tube is dilated, the balloon is deflated and then removed. The procedure is short and is performed under general anesthesia.

Results from clinical studies demonstrated a 99.7 percent technical success rate in Eustachian tubes dilated. Studies also found a greater rate of tympanogram normalization than control subjects treated with medical management alone (51.8 vs. 13.9 percent), as well as a an improvement in quality of life measures from 8.5% to 56.1% with no reported serious side effects.

Please call us to schedule an appointment with Dr. Maw to discuss if you could be a candidate for this state-of-the-art procedure.

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