Chronic eustachian tube dysfunction prevails in 1% of the adult population and can predispose to middle ear disease. There are subjective and objective features of this condition that can affect quality of life. The common methods to treat eustachian tube dysfunction, such as grommets and decongestants often fail or provide only short-term benefits. In this prospective study, the authors evaluated the outcome of balloon eustachian tuboplasty in 11 adult patients using Bielefeld catheter applying pressure for 120 seconds. Previous CT scans excluded the possibility of aberrant internal carotid artery. Subjective results were assessed by Eustachian Tube Dysfunction Questionnaire (ETDQ-7) which scored on pain, pressure, clogged feeling, cold and sinusitis symptoms, popping, ringing and muffled hearing. The results showed a statistically significant improvement after the procedure. The objective results were assessed with tympanometry and audiometry but there was no significant improvement. The authors contend that objective abnormality and subjective symptoms may represent two separate pathological processes which may influence or exacerbate each other, such as respiratory and cardiac disease in patients with breathlessness. Association of eustachian tube dysfunction with Menière’s disease has also been discussed. Though small in patient numbers and length of follow-up, the article is interesting reading for a common but poorly defined problem.

Balloon Eustachian tuboplasty treatment of longstanding Eustachian tube dysfunction.
Singh T, Taneja V, Kulendra K, Farr M, Robinson J and Rejali D.
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Madhup K Chaurasia

Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust, UK.

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