Re: Adult PE tubes for Eustachian Tube Dysfunction
I definitely feel your misery! I joined this board last year when a sinus infection caused Eustachian tube problems for me and found lots of useful info and a few friends to commiserate with as well. Here's what I have to say about adult PE tubes: if it's not a fluid problem, they should not be placed. This is coming from my own experience and from a different ent that I saw much later and after the fact of the tube being placed. Honestly, I was desperate enough to try the tube and it wasn't a good idea. It doesn't affect or heal an improperly working Eustachian tube. All it will do is aerate your middle ear space. Your Eustachian tube will still be blocked. In my personal experience the hearing difference was not worth the tubes to me either. It's going to be your call though. Months after I got the tube removed (tried it on 1 ear) I saw an ent who was very adamant that PE tubes only be placed when there is a fluid problem in the middle ear. He was very informative, what he said made sense, and I liked him. What I did do that helped my Eustachian tubes start to return to normalcy was get eustachisn tube dilation. It's a procedure that's definitely very rare and controversial in the ent community. I guess desperate times call for desperate measures though. They basically pop your ears from the inside with a tiny balloon catheter up your nose into your Eustachian tube. I'm not saying this is the procedure for you, just telling you what I did. I still get Eustachian tube craziness. I was allergy tested and allergic to most of the things. I began allergy shots in October and was unable to receive them for 3 wks due to being sick and went back this past Monday. Lo and behold, Tuesday I had a raging headache and ear pressure. I am able to pop my ears, it sounds like you can too. I couldn't pop my ears at all prior to my surgery so it did help. I had Eustachian tube function testing in October 3 mos after the procedure and Eustachian tubes were working
fine. I feel them open when I swallow right now actually. So basically it's a trial and error game. I feel that you should probably try any other route than PE tubes. The ent that I saw was one at a top teaching hospital in Chicago. Maybe allergy testing, Eustachian tube function testing ( done by an audiologist who knows how to perform this test). I know the misery firsthand, but it can improve.