Eustachian Tube Balloon Dilation System- The Details
February 23, 2017
Eustachian Tube Function:
The Eustachian tube is a narrow tube which links the back of the nose to the middle ear. It is normally closed but opens when we swallow, yawn or chew. It has three main functions: to protect the middle ear from sources of disease, to ventilate the middle ear, and to help drain secretions away from the middle ear.
Eustachian tube dysfunction (ETD) is the inability of the Eustachian tube to adequately perform these functions and failure of the valve of the Eustachian tube to open and/or close properly. It is estimated that ETD effects 0.9-5% of the adult population.
Symptoms and Causes:
Anything that prevents the tube from opening can cause Eustachian tube dysfunction. Eustachian tube dysfunction may occur when the mucosal lining of the tube is swollen, or does not open or close properly. It can occur after the start of a cold and other nose, sinus, ear and throat infections.
Symptoms of ETD may include: muffled hearing, fullness of the ear, pain in the ear, inability to equilibrate middle ear pressure, tinnitus, and dizziness.
Untreated ETD may lead to the following complications: damage to the middle ear/ eardrum, otitis media, perforation of the eardrum, collapse of the middle ear, and cholesteatoma.
Traditionally ear tubes would be placed to help balance middle ear pressure, however this doesn’t address the problem of Eustachian tube dysfunction.
The ACCLARENT AERA Eustachian Tube Balloon Dilation System is the first device in the US indicated to dilate the Eustachian tube. The system uses a small balloon to treat persistent ETD.
To perform a Eustachian Tube Balloon Dilation, 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, a doctor deflates and removes the balloon.
To learn more, watch a video on the procedure.