Eustachian tube dilation success stories

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Who has had the eustachian tube dilation and it was a success for you! I have met only 1 person. Mine was NOT a success. They say the success rate is 80%. I would like to hear from anyone who it has worked for.....was it instant or it took weeks for you to feel that it worked.??

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  • Edited

    Hello Kelly,

    I've suffered ETD for over thirty years on and off, but more on than off.  The pressure becomes so bad the mucus perforates my left eardrum.  The hole

    is so tiny the thick sticky mucus cannot drain properly, so my ENT consultant

    uses microsuction to clear it all out.  He told me it's like chewing gum, so it would never drain on it's own.  The eustachian tubes are completely stuck together 

    from mucus, called Glue Ear in children.  My consultant won't perform Balloon

    Dilation on me.  Maybe because I suffered bacterial meningitis back in 1994, due

    to the mucus turning bacterial and passing the blood/brian barrier.  Due to this,

    I see my consutlant twice yearly for check ups.  I've had the microsuction performed approximately seven times over the past three years.  I make a lot of mucus due to all year round Rhinitus.  I also suffer allergies, all of which causes

    me to make a lot of mucus.  

    There are so many of us on this Forum that suffer the same condition and I

    think it's the most hoorible thing ever !  I do everything to try and help myself,

    but sadly there seems no cure.  To get some relief I request a reducing course

    of Steroid Prednisolone tablets (20 day course)  after a few days they clear up

    all the inflammation in the tubes, so ears are clear again, dry up all the musuc, so no post nasal drip, sinus headaches go and I feel brilliant again.  I even get my smell and taste back.  However, it's short lived.  I started the course at the end of April and my ears are still clear.  Sadly, my smell and taste has gone and the blowing mucus is back and feeling blocked on my left side.  I can put up with this provided my ears stay clear.  I'm prescribed Flixonase Aqueous steroid Nasal Spray, which I use morning and night, I also take a daily Citrizine antihistamine. I use NeilMed Nasal Rinse too.  Unfortunately, Prednisolone mustn't be used too

    often, due to potential side affects,but I am prescribed them maybe once ever two/three years when I can no cope with blocked ears.  It's a very dibilitating condition and unless people suffer from it they've no idea how awful it is.  I put mine down to chronic sinus issues and allergies.  Some people on the forum are

    wondering if it's due to TMJ, but somehow I doubt that, as we can't all have TMJ.

    Plus if that was the reason it would be painful to be able o open our mouths.  I suffered TMJ a few years ago after my dentist at the time, was too heavy handed whilst doing my bottom tooth crown.  TMJ lasted almost to weeks, but that certainly wasn't due to my ETD, as I said I suffered this condition for 33 years now.

    Someone on the forum recommended taking 100mg of Oil of Primrose that seemed to help him.  Of course I'm trying it too.  I take a daily good multivitamin and one daily tablet of Turmeric, which is said to help with inflammation.  I try absolutely anything to get rid of this miserable condition !!

    I hope to you find some relief too.

    Regards Anne

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  • Edited

    Hi Kelly

    Like you, I had eustachian tube balloon dilation done just over a year ago (in April 2016). Unfortunately I had no improvements. I still suffer every day 24/7 with crackling, clicking, popping in both ears - in addition tinnitus. Nothing else that I've tried (including months of steroid nasal drops, the "Earpopper" and Otovent devices) has provided the slightest relief for my ETD, which started in September 2014. Also, balloon dilation surgery is still considered "experimental" in many countries and therefore may not be covered by insurance (I had to pay for all costs out of pocket). When you mention that "they" say the success rate is 80%, do you mean the doctors who perform it? The doctors I saw also quoted similar success rates, but I am starting to wonder if that's truly the case, since I've only seen a few people on this forum who have had the surgery for chronic ETD and claim to have been cured as a result. Certainly not 80% of those who write about the surgery on this forum. It will be interesting to see what others have to say.

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    • Posted

      Aloha Tony,

      Thanks for your reply......I'm very interested in seeing if anyone else has or has not had success with balloon dilation.

      Yes....when I said "they" I did mean doctors. I live in Hawaii and went to San Deigo for the dilation. Dr. Brian Weeks did mine. He's been doing it for years, fabulous doctor, liked him a lot. He thought I would be a success, considering I have never ever had any problems with ear infections, no allergies, no sinus problems. Just got a bad cold last September and my ears plugged up. I have loud crackling, popping and pain everyday.

      On the Acclarent website, the company that makes the balloon dilation says it' has 56% success rate.?? Where they get 80% I have no clue.

      Just recently found a doctor in Hawaii that just started doing it, I asked him how many has he done so far... he said around 20....i asked out of 20 how many was successful, he said "they" say it's 80% successful...."they" ??? I said No....out of the 20 you have done, what has your success rate been. He looked at me like I had 3 heads....LOL. He couldn't give me an answer. I've seen 10 doctors, 4 has been ENT Doctors. I seem to know more about ETD than the local doctors here?

      Dr. Brian Weeks in San Diego is the 1 doctor who knows what I'm going through and knows how debilitating it is.....all the doctors here think I'm crazy, because they have done all the tests on me and nothing shows up wrong, so I guess it's all in my head and I'm the crazy one?!?!

      I've been on a couple different health sites in the past 9 months. I have only found 1 person that says the balloon dilation was successful. I want to hear from more people.

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    • Edited

      Hi again Kelly. I actually saw Dr. Weeks in San Diego before I had my surgery done. I agree with what you said: he was very experienced , understanding and professional. But because I don't live in the USA and couldn't get insurance cover for the surgery I decided not to go ahead because the costs of having it done in the USA were beyond my budget. I got it done elsewhere, and by a doctor who is also very experienced and humane, but unfortunately it didn't work for me. I've often wondered if the result would have been different had I gone ahead in San Diego, but of course you never know. 

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    • Posted

      I had the balloon dilation five days ago, so I can't tell anything yet as was warned that all the tissues would be swollen for awhile. I am stuffy still, but am just glad to get the fluid out of my middle ear ! I had mine done by Santa Monica Head and Neck group and it was covered by Medicare and Blue Cross insurance. I hope it worked.

      It was easy and quick. Back to work ( a teacher) after the weekend. Very sore throat for three days...from camera and balloon going down nose and up into the ET.

      Go for it is what I say ! I have had ETD since the 70's when I flew home from Hawaii with a cold !

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    • Posted

      mind sharing your surgeons name? has he done a lot of these with high success? did you get the balloon for crackling issues and pressure issues? it driving me nuts. hope you feeling better. please keep us posted. thanks so much!

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    • Posted

      Morning, do you suffer sinus issues by any chance, which causes Post Nasal Drip. If so try some NAC (N-Acetyl-Cysteine) tablets. They clear mucus. I'm sure it's mucus

      that sticks our Eustachian Tubes together....allergies also

      cause us to make a lot of mucus.

      My ears have been behaving for quite a while now and I

      put that down to the changing seasons (could be wrong

      about that though). I'm seeing my ENT consultant today,

      as this year I'm going to be flying again after 6 yrs....reason

      for that is flying really messes up my ears badly. They block

      up and it can take forever to get them right again. I purchase

      EarPlanes and insert them before take off and landing....they've helped a little in the past. Maybe I'll also

      use a decongestant too.

      ETD is one of the most awful things to suffer!!


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    • Posted

      28oT4aFZmNc please search for this on YouTube. Its not a 20 second solution. but do it regularly 2-3 times 3-4 minutes in a day. You will see the benefits i think in a week. This is the best self healing technique i have found so far. I opened my ears with this technique many times after my issue repeated even i got the surgery.

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    • Posted

      Hi.....yes I have had post nasal drip my entire life ( I'm now 70 !)

      I just had balloon dilation and still feel the affects a week later including stuffiness, tinnitus, earache ( they punctured my eardrum to release fluid....), and a sense of imbalance. Saw my surgeon and he said it would take months to see improvement and to be patient ! I was disappointed.

      I use Flonase and saline in the morning, and Azeltline spray at night. I've also tried Nasacort ( didn't help), Neti pot made it worse, and a new spray which was ordered called XHance which was a pressure spray which goes up to the sinuses. I've also had a turbinectomy ! If this doesn't work, I'll just give up and accept this as what I have to live with.

      I'll keep you posted.

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    • Posted

      Hi Judi, Kevin here from San Diego. I too have had this damn ETD since the '70s (late '70s). Left side mostly but sometimes the right, too. Myringotomy doesn't help. I'm now just looking into what is called "silent reflux," which is GERD without any heartburn (thus the silent part). But it reeks havoc with the sensitive tissues of your larnyx and throat. Like others, I saw Brian Weeks about the dilation procedure, but he wasn't convinced it would help me, although he would have performed it if I asked. When you had the balloon procedure, did it make your symptoms worse temporarily until the swelling subsided? How are you feeling today? Very curious so hoping you'll take a minute or two to connect. Thanks Judi. -kevin

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    • Posted

      hi kevin,

      I too had ETD for 5-6 years. I had right ear always heavy. I had balloon dilation done 6 months back and now I feel great. Trust me no other procedure will work except this as I tried it all.

      I would suggest anyone having ETD go for it. Its not expensive as they use same balloon on many patients as these balloons are built for multiple times usage.

      After surgery, it will take around 2 months to fully get relief so dont panic. eace

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    • Posted

      hello Judi i just had it done two days ago

      like you i have the sore throat

      can i ask how are you doing ??? after 30 years of poping and not hearing well some days. i want it to work so bad.

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    • Edited

      Hi just wondering if you how you got on with your surgery I've just had mine this morning my nose is running like a tap plus very stingy pain inside the nose my throat hurts like hell and have now a cough which I didn't have going in I woke up in surgery with them pulling something out of my throat it was awful I've had ringing in 1 of my ears this evening and pressure headache across my forehead that is really hurting like mad I cough up some blood after surgery to maybe that's norm not sure my ears are very sore right now 🤔

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