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Michiana doctor learns new way to treat common ear problem

A Michiana doctor just became the third physician in Michigan to treat a common ear problem. And you might not even know that you have it.

It’s called Eustachian Tube Dysfunction. It leads to sensations of pain, pressure or clogging inside of the ear. 

“It’s a plugged up muffled feeling that a lot of us get when we fly. We have to chew gum or blow our nose to get our ears to pop, but some people get it all the time they have it more or less constantly,” said Dr. Dennis Thompson, an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist.

If you have trouble hearing, frequent ear infections or ringing in your ears, you might have this condition.

It affects both adults and children.

If it isn’t treated, it can lead to permanent hearing loss or damage to the eardrum.

If you have trouble hearing, frequent ear infections or ringing in your ears, you might have this condition. If it isn’t treated, it can lead to permanent hearing loss or damage to the eardrum.

Dr. Thompson traveled to Cincinnati to engage in hands-on training. This is a new and more effective way of treating ETD. The new procedure will use a small medical balloon to widen the Eustachian tube. It will allow mucus and air to go through, which can help stop clogging and pain.

“I think adoption will be pretty fast actually because this is an extremely common condition and all the primary care family doctors are seeing these patients almost every day,” Dr. Thompson said.

The procedure takes approximately ten to fifteen minutes. According to a clinical trial, it has a 99.7% success rate.

“I just saw one of my first patients this morning. He came back and felt immediate improvement in the way his ears felt,” Dr. Thompson said. 

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