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News From the Food and Drug Administration
November 1, 2016

Relief for Ear Pain

JAMA. 2016;316(17):1756. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.15574

A device that uses a small balloon to treat eustachian tube dysfunction (ETD) has received FDA approval.

With the new Aera system, physicians use a catheter to insert the balloon through a patient’s nose and into the eustachian tube. When inflated, the balloon opens up a path for mucus and air to flow through the eustachian tube, which may help restore proper function and relieve pain or clogged, muffled sensations in the ear. After the eustachian tube is dilated, the balloon is deflated and removed.

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