Eustachian Tube Dysfunction Surgery


ETD is a medical condition causing ear pressure changes, hearing loss, and even pain in the ear. Often occurring with changes in altitude, and with seasonal allergy symptoms, these symptoms can last for months and can be very difficult for individuals to manage. The eustachian tube is a small tube that creates a passageway between your nasal passage and your ear. When this tube becomes blocked, you may suffer from pressure in your ear, changes in hearing in one or both ears, and may feel like you need to continually relieve the fullness you experience in the ear.
Oklahoma Sinus Center

Causes and solutions

A poorly functioning eustachian tube can lead to symptoms when flying or scuba diving. These rapid changes in pressure often lead to transient and tolerable symptoms. When symptoms become chronic, the source of the problem often involves nasal inflammation that causes the ears to malfunction. The feeling of fullness and pressure may be accompanied by pain, popping, and hearing loss. Relief may be achieved with a conservative approach to medical management, but your doctor may also offer surgical options when symptoms persist for long periods. These surgical options may give lasting relief, and may even provide a cure for these problems.

Which procedures might help me

When symptoms become severe or chronic, you may want to consider various surgical procedures. These procedures are mostly performed in the office setting, require no sedation, and provide lasting relief with little or no pain. Recovery is a usually brief and simple. You and your physician may carefully consider the benefits of the following common procedures:

Removal of fluid and placement of tubes in the ear:

An office procedure for most, under simple local anesthesia, your surgeon can easily place a small tube in the ear that allows immediate relief from pressure, pain, hearing loss, and popping. These small tubes, just millimeters in size, allow fluid to drain from the ear and restore normal movement of the ear drum. Depending on the needs for the individual, these small tubes can last from 6 months up to 3 years. These procedure are very brief, often lasting less than 5 minutes.

Balloon dilation of the eustachian tube:

Performed as an in-office procedure, or under anesthesia if the patient prefers, this approach to surgical therapy has been revolutionary. This safe and effective procedure uses a small balloon to gently inflate the eustachian tube. When performed in the office, topical anesthesia is easily placed, and individuals tolerate the procedure with minimal discomfort. This procedure may also be performed in combination with placement of ear tubes, helping to give both immediate relief and long term improvement in symptom.


Balloon eustachian tube dilation may lead to a recovery lasting one or two days, with little or no restriction in activity. The same often applies to placement of tubes in the ear. Your physician will discuss with you what expectations you should have for any follow up visits, additional testing, or any restrictions from activity.

Are you considering surgical treatment options for Eustachian tube dysfunction?

Contact Oklahoma Sinus Center today to schedule an evaluation.