Dear Ask The Doctor: My name is Brady. I have had dealt with fullness and pain in my ears off and on for about three years. Recently the problem had gotten significantly worse, and so 4 months ago my ENT put tubes in my ear drums (I also had tubes in my ears as an infant). The tubes had very little effect on my ears, and I still continued to experience severe pain from what my doctor believes is blocked Eustachian tubes. The doctor then prescribed steroid ear drops to help relax the muscles around the Eustachian tubes and help them to drain. These also failed to give me any relief. I am now on a prescription of muscle relaxers to aid the tubes to drain. I also had a CT scan which showed a normal ear, but was unable to really determine the condition of the Eustachian Tubes. I am going in next week for hearing and pressure tests....The doctor briefly mentioned surgery to clear the eustachian tubes, but didn't seem very keen on it at all, it sounds pretty messy. What would be involved in a surgery on the eustachian tubes?
Dear Patient: The surgery would be aimed at relieving your blocked Eustachian tubes. It would be performed under general anesthesia. Your surgeon would access the Eustachian tube either via the nose or through the mouth. With the help of a laser the swollen, inflamed areas would be removed in attempt to restore the normal opening of the tube. Surgery is not considered until all non-surgical methods of treatment have failed.