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Eustachian Tube Dysfunction

Updated: Oct 11, 2021

Eustachian tube is a small tube that connects your middle ear to your nose. It is this tube that helps keep the middle ear healthy by equalizing pressure, clearing secretions, and protecting it from pathogens that might otherwise cause infections.

The eustachian tube has three roles in keeping the middle ear healthy.

They are:

  • Keeps air pressure equal on both sides of the eardrum

  • Drains secretions from the middle ear

  • Protects the middle ear from bacteria and viruses

If Eustachian tube is clogged or blocked, it can cause discomfort, ear pain or even hearing loss. This condition is called Eustachian tube dysfunction (ETD).

Usually, eustachian tube is closed most of the times but it opens only when the person is chewing, yawning, swallowing.

It is common to experience ETD occasionally, but some people get symptoms more regularly than others. People who smoke may be more at risk for experiencing ETD, as smoking damages the delicate hairs in the throat and middle ear.

Symptoms of ETD can vary from mild to severe and may be different for each person. Common symptoms include:

  • plugged ears

  • Ear fullness

  • tinnitus, or ringing in the ear

  • muffled hearing or partial hearing loss

  • ticking or popping sounds

  • pain and tenderness around the ear

  • tickling or tingling sensation

Children are also more at risk for ETD, as their eustachian tubes are much smaller and so more likely to become clogged by mucus or germs. A child’s immune system is also less able to fight off infections, as it is not fully developed. Children have more frequent colds and sinus infections, which are direct causes of ETD.

People with allergies may also experience ETD more often, as allergies can cause increased mucus and congestion.

Symptoms of Eustachian tube dysfunction usually go away without treatment. You can do exercises to open the tubes. This includes swallowing, yawning, or chewing gum. You can help relieve the “full ear” feeling by taking a deep breath, pinching your nostrils closed, and “blowing” with your mouth shut.

Managing your symptoms when you have allergies, or a cold is important. This can keep your Eustachian tubes clear and prevent an infection from forming. If the discomfort doesn’t go away, then you need to immediately meet a doctor

At Bangalore Hearing & Implant Institute, A team of Audiologist and ENTs provide the management options for persons experiencing Eustachian Tube Dysfunction. For any information connect with us through . Ph: +91 6366888883

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