About Eustachian Tubes

The Eustachian tube is a muscular, funnel-shaped tube that connects the middle ear to the back of the nose. The dysfunction of this tube refers to any problem that alters how this tube opens and closes, which in turn affects pressure and fluid balance for the ear.  Common causes of the tubes dysfunction are rapid weight loss, allergy, enlarged adenoids, sinus disease, and infection.

The tube changes position and shape as we grow and become older. 

What Are The Symptoms Of ETD?

Symptoms can either be long or temporary

  • Fullness in the ear
  • Changes to your hearing
  • Ears feeling plugged
  • Tinnitus, or ringing in the ear
  • Itchiness or a ticklish feeling in the ear
  • Ear pain

What Causes ETD?

EDT can have environmental causes such as changes in elevation (driving through mountains, flying on an airplane, or hiking).  Colds and severe allergies are the most common causes, and can lead to your tubes being plugged with mucus or inflamed.

How Is ETD Treated?

This condition is usually resolved on its own with no treatment, but the treatment depends on the severity of your case.

ETD can be treated with some home remedies such as:

  • Chewing gum
  • Swallowing repeatedly
  • Yawning
  • Exhaling while plugging the nose and mouth
  • Using a saline nasal spray
  • For babies, giving them a pacifier to suck on

Along with home remedies, you can also use over the counter drugs. Allergy medicine should be able to help you, if allergies are the cause.

If ETD remains permanent, it can be treated with ear tubes and/or eustachian tube dilation using a small balloon.

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