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Services StuffinessEustachian Tube Dysfunction (ETD) is a condition that causes chronic ear congestion, muffled hearing, and a sensation of fullness in the ears. The eustachian tubes are small passageways that connect the middle ear to the back of the nose. These tubes function to equalize pressure in the middle ear by swallowing, yawning or chewing. Typically, symptoms worsen when flying, diving, riding on elevators, and driving through mountains.

Common Symptoms of Eustachian Tube Dysfunction

  • Muffled hearing
  • Full sensation in the ears
  • Pain in the ears
  • A popping feeling in the ears 

Eustachian Tube Dysfunction Treatment

A comprehensive physical examination should be performed, including nasal endoscopy to exclude any nasal causes for this problem. Complete audiometry (hearing and middle ear pressure testing) will be performed to evaluate other pathologies such as hearing loss that may contribute to the sensation of muffled hearing. Allergy testing can be performed to determine allergic causes of ETD.

Initial treatment includes oral and topical decongestants, oral and topical antihistamines and oral and topical steroids to reduce any swelling of the lining of the eustachian tubes and reduce any allergic responses.

When patients fail conservative medical measures, they may be considered candidates for a minimally invasive in-office procedure. Classically, this was limited to a myringotomy, where a small incision is made in the eardrum (tympanic membrane) to equalize the middle ear pressure. Our practice offers cutting-edge technology called Audion™ for the treatment of ETD.  Eustachian tube dilation is performed by placing a small balloon catheter into the opening of the eustachian tube utilizing endoscopic guidance. The balloon catheter is gently inflated for two minutes and then removed. This is performed in the office setting under local anesthesia, avoiding general anesthesia and  its associated side effects. This approach allows a faster recovery and patients can return to work the next day.

Our practice offers comprehensive ETD care including medical management, audiograms (hearing tests), and eustachian tube balloon dilation, if necessary. For further information, or to book an appointment with one of our physicians contact us at our Plantation (954-476-0400) or Coral Springs (954-796-0400) office.

ENT Sinus and Allergy of South Florida

220 S.W. 84th Ave, Suite 101  •  Plantation, Florida 33324  •  954-476-0400
3100 Coral Hills Drive, Suite 307  •  Coral Springs, Florida 33065  •  954-796-0400
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