The eustachian tube connects the middle ear to the back of the nose. It equalizes pressure between the ear and the outside world. When a person yawns or swallows, the eustachian tube dilates and this prompts pressure equalization. Inflammation of the eustachian tube caused by allergic rhinitis, chronic sinusitis, or other conditions may cause the eustachian tube not to function properly, causing symptoms of ear pressure or muffled hearing.
Los Angeles Eustachian Tube Specialist
Like the nasal cavity, the ear also produces mucus and is normally drained by the eustachian tube. If the eustachian tube does not function normally, mucus may build up in the ear causing hearing loss and muffled hearing. It may also lead to recurrent ear infections and you should seek the expertise of an experienced Los Angeles Eustachian Tube Specialist. Conditions like nasal allergy and chronic sinusitis can cause inflammation of the eustachian tube and lead to dysfunction. Medical treatment includes nasal steroid sprays, nasal antihistamine sprays, oral antihistamines, and decongestants.
Eustachian Tube Treatments
Traditional treatment of eustachian tube dysfunction includes placement of a pressure equalization tube (PE tube), creating a semi-permanent hole in the eardrum, allowing pressure to equalize through it directly. Normal PE tubes usually last for about a year and may need to be replaced chronically.
Recent advances in technology have led to the development of a technique to help recuperate the normal function of the eustachian tube instead of circumventing it. Balloon eustachian tube dilation involves placing a guide catheter into the eustachian tube orifice. A balloon is then threaded over the guide wire and then gently inflated, dilating the eustachian tube. The dilated eustachian tube is now able to equalize pressure between the ear and the nasal cavity. Though a fairly new technique, studies demonstrate that the benefits of this type of surgery may last much longer than standard PE tubes.
Los Angeles Eustachian Tube Specialist | Beverly Hills Sinus Center
The physicians and staff at the Beverly Hills Sinus Center place the highest importance on compassionate care and patient comfort. Our ENT staff prides themselves on being conservative and recognizes that surgery is not always the answer, but as highly trained Los Angeles Eustachian Tube surgeons, they are not discouraged by the most difficult of problems. The Beverly Hills Sinus Center looks forward to working with you to solve your nasal or sinus related issues.