Pressure or Clogging in Ears
Ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist, Dennis Thompson, MD, is the third physician in the state of Michigan to perform a new surgery designed to treat Eustachian tube dysfunction (ETD), a condition that leads to sensations of pain, pressure, or clogging inside the ear.
The Eustachian tube is a valve-like apparatus that connects the middle ear to the back of the throat and helps equalize pressure inside the ear with the surrounding environment. When the tube doesn't function properly, it can lead to symptoms such as reduced hearing, frequent ear infections, and ringing in the ears.
“Eustachian tube dysfunction is a very common condition seen by primary care physicians as well as ENT specialists and it causes countless days of ear discomfort in both children and adults,” said Dr. Thompson. “The condition can lead to complications including ear infection, fluid behind the ear drum, permanent hearing loss, eardrum damage, or middle ear cyst requiring surgery.”
Dr. Thompson traveled to Cincinnati, Ohio to receive hands-on training and certification for the ACCLARENT AERA™ Eustachian Tube Balloon Dilation System which uses a small medical balloon to widen the Eustachian tube in the ear. The new device is inserted through the nose into the Eustachian tube, where a small balloon is inflated and creates a path for mucus and air. The balloon is then deflated and removed. ACCLARENT AERA™ is performed as an outpatient procedure under general anesthesia. The procedure itself takes approximately 10 minutes to complete with most patients experiencing immediate return to normal activities.
ACCLARENT AERA™ clinical trial evidence demonstrated a technical success rate of 99.7% Eustachian tubes dilated. Additionally, a new long-term study presented at the American Academy of Otolaryngology meeting found 81 percent of patients had relief one to 3½ years after the surgery.