What is ear tube dilation?

Meadows Health Ear, Nose and Throat utilizes the ACCLARENT AERATM Eustachian Tube Dilation System to perform ear tube dilation. As the name suggests, ear tube dilation involves inflation of a special balloon to open the Eustachian tube, which is the small channel that connects the back of the nose to the middle ear.

When is ear tube dilation recommended?

Patients who experience Eustachian tube dysfunction may experience muffled hearing, a feeling of fullness in the ear, pain, vertigo (dizziness), balance problems or tinnitus (ringing in the ears). Ear tube dilation is recommended when medications and other less invasive treatments do not work.

What is the procedure for ear tube dilation?

To perform ear tube dilation, a Meadows Health ENT specialist uses a catheter to insert a small balloon through the nostril into the Eustachian tube. The balloon is then inflated, opening a pathway for mucus and air to flow normally through the tube. The balloon is deflated and removed from the Eustachian tube. The procedure takes about 15 minutes, and the patient is asleep during the procedure.

What are the results of ear tube dilation?

For the first week after the procedure, the patient should not blow his or her nose. After that, an exercise may be suggested in which the patient pinches the nostrils and blows gently to raise air pressure. In 3 to 6 weeks, the patient should recover fully and enjoy normal functioning of the Eustachian tube.