Eustachian Tube Dilation in San Diego | Silenso Clinic
Approximately 5% of U.S. adults experience problems with their Eustachian tubes that go undiagnosed and untreated.
Also known as Eustachian tube dysfunction (ETD), patients experiencing problems with their Eustachian tubes can encounter a variety of symptoms, including:
- Ear pain
- Tinnitus (persistent ringing in the ears)
- Decreased hearing
If left untreated, these symptoms can develop into more serious complications that might damage the middle ears, eardrums, or lead to retraction or middle ear effusion.
Eustachian tube dilation is a treatment for Eustachian tube dysfunction. Here, Dr. Paul Schalch Lepe, a leading board-certified otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat specialist), discusses Eustachian tube dilation, who the treatment is for, and how it can help you improve your quality of life.
If you or a loved one is experiencing eustachian tube problems, then reach out to Dr. Schalch Lepe at (858) 925-5800 or fill in his contact form to arrange your consultation in San Diego today. Silenso Clinic is located in Carmel Valley in North San Diego County and serves many communities throughout the greater San Diego area, including La Jolla, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Del Mar, Rancho Santa Fe, Coronado, Eastlake, Chula Vista, and more
Specializing in the treatment of a variety of conditions (deviated septum, nasal obstruction, snoring, obstructive sleep apnea, etc.), Dr. Schalch Lepe is highly qualified and motivated to provide his patients with the best possible treatment results. Dr. Schalch Lepe takes an in-depth, personalized approach with each patient to ensure they receive the best possible treatment for their situation.
Originally from Mexico City, Mexico, Dr. Schalch Lepe has the unique perspective of having trained in multiple countries. This experience has led him to be sought out by domestic and international patients, many of whom are Mexican ex-pats living throughout San Diego County and Southern California.
What Are the Eustachian Tubes?
The Eustachian tubes are a group of tubular structures that connect the nose to the middle ear. The Eustachian tubes transfer secretions away from the inner ear, protect the inner ear and ventilate the area.
What is Eustachian Tube Dysfunction?
Eustachian tube dysfunction occurs when the tubes cannot close or open properly, thus preventing the flow of air, pressure equalization, and flow of secretions along the tubes.
The Eustachian tubes allow air to flow continuously from the nose to the middle ear while allowing secretions that may enter into the middle ear to flow out of the ear. If a person cannot do this correctly, it can lead to hearing loss, dizziness, and accumulation of fluid in the middle ears, also known as chronic otitis media.
What Causes Eustachian Tube Dysfunction?
Eustachian tube dysfunction can be brought on by a variety of different conditions, but common ones include:
- Rhino-sinusitis (inflammation in the nose and sinuses)
- Tumors in the back of the nose (nasopharynx)
Air travel or diving can worsen Eustachian tube dysfunction and lead to transient or permanent damage of the middle ears.
How Is Eustachian Tube Dysfunction Treated?
If the condition is only temporary and not causing excessive pain, it’s best to treat it with over-the-counter medications such as decongestants before it progresses to a more serious issue.
However, if symptoms become increasingly worse, or the condition begins to return more frequently, then a more permanent solution might be required.
Traditionally, ETD has been treated by placing small temporary tubes into the Eustachian tubes, keeping them open, and allowing pressure equalization and discharge release. However, with the further development and better understanding of medical technology, a promising, minimally invasive treatment for ETD called Eustachian Tube Dilation is now available.
What is Eustachian Tube Dilation?
Performed under local anesthesia, Eustachian Tube Dilation involves inserting an endoscopic camera into the nose for visibility, then inserting a small deflated balloon catheter. This balloon is then gently inflated inside the Eustachian tube opening and left for approximately two minutes, which expands the collapsed tube opening. The balloon is then removed, and nothing is left in the nose.
The procedure improves ETD in approximately 75% of patients. Most patients report an improvement in symptoms after the procedure.
Eustachian Tube Dilation Treatment in San Diego, CA
The less invasive a treatment is, the better for the patient. With Eustachian Tube Dilation, patients receive treatment for their symptoms without needing any tissue removal, cutting, or permanent placement of foreign objects in the body.
If you’re experiencing issues with your Eustachian tubes, then don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Schalch Lepe to see if ETD treatment is for you.
Ear, nose, throat, sleep, and breathing specialist Dr. Paul Schalch Lepe specializes in various breathing, sleep, and airway conditions, including deviated septum, sinus pressure, allergies, enlarged inferior turbinates, obstructive sleep apnea, snoring and more. He offers an array of minimally-invasive, in-office treatments (elevoplasty, balloon sinuplasty, nasal valve treatment, inspire for sleep apnea, inferior turbinates reduction, airlift hyoid suspension, ENTceps tonsillectomy, laser procedures)all meant to help his patients achieve an improved quality of life by breathing better and sleeping easier. Dr. Schalch Lepe takes an in-depth, personalized approach with each patient to ensure they receive the best possible treatment for their situation.
Originally from Mexico City, Mexico, Dr. Schalch Lepe has been fortunate to gain unique perspectives and experience from his international training. This experience has led him to be sought out by domestic and international patients, many of whom are Mexican ex-pats living throughout San Diego County and Southern California.
Eustachian Tube Dilation FAQs
The Eustachian Tube Balloon Dilation procedure is relatively fast, taking only about 15 minutes. However, the results of the procedure have been shown to be long lasting, with 83% of patients remaining satisfied with the results at the long-term follow-up check over two years after the procedure.
This confirms that Eustachian Tube Dilation successfully treats and eliminates the symptoms associated with Eustachian tube dysfunction in the vast majority of patients for many years, without the need for tympanostomy tubes placement.
The Eustachian Tube dilation procedure is typically covered by most insurance carriers. Our office will check your coverage and discuss with you prior to scheduling your procedure.
Patients should be able to return to daily activities 24 hours after their Eustachian Tube Dilation procedure. However, it is important to wait at least a few days before resuming intense exercise or other activities that require heavy breathing through the nasal cavity. You will be provided with detailed post-procedure instructions.