Ear Fullness

What is ETD?

The Eustachian tube is a narrow tube which links the back of the nose to the middle ear.  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.  It is estimated to affect 5-15% of the adult population.

Symptoms and Causes

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.  When they are not working properly, patients can experience ear pain, pressure, fullness, popping, ringing or muffled sounds in the affected ear(s).

Treatment Options

The ACCLARENT AERA™ Eustachian Tube Balloon Dilation System is the first device in the US indicated to dilate the Eustachian tube.  The ACCLARENT AERA™ system uses a small balloon to treat persistent Eustachian tube dysfunction (ETD), a condition in which pressure, pain or clogged or muffled sensations occur in the ear.

Eustachian tube balloon dilation uses a catheter to insert a small balloon through the patient’s nose and into the Eustachian tube.  Once inflated, the balloon opens 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.

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