Eustachian Tube Dysfunction And Blockage
Eustachian tube problems are often associated with ear infections. In fact, if you don’t have trouble with ear infections, you may never even heard of the Eustachian Tube. However, if you do have ear infections, you will be familiar with the phrase. The Eustachian Tube can be blocked for a variety of reasons. This tube ventilates the middle ear space and ensures that the pressure remains normal in the area. It also drains secretions that are in the middle ear space. You can understand why a blockage to that tube would be an issue to the function of the ear. When the function is blocked, sounds are muffled, and the ear feels full.
Causes Of Eustachian Tube Blockage
The most common cause of a blockage is the common cold or an upper respiratory infection. Sinus infections and allergies can also cause the tissue in the lining of the tube to swell. Stuffy noses lead to stuffy ears. Children see these blockages more often because their tubes are more narrow and horizontal. Some adults have smaller Eustachian tubes and that can lead to more blockage issues. Smoking is also associated with damaging the Eustachian tube in the back of the nose area, which can cause more blockage.
Signs That There Is An Eustachian Tube Blockage
If your Eustachian Tube is dysfunctional or blocked, you will feel like your ears are full, though it may be intermittent. You might also have a popping in your ears, like when you are on a plane. You could also feel like sounds are muffled and you could hear a ringing in your ears at times. You may even get off balance when your ears are blocked in this manner.
The Use Of Home Remedies
Not all blockages are in need of treatment. There are some simple things you can do at home to clear the tube in order to allow yourself to heal. The simple act of swallowing helps the muscles in the back of the throat open up the Eustachian Tube, for example. You can do things that promote swallowing like chewing gum, eating, or drinking. Yawning is also effective because it activates even stronger muscles. If you feel like you are blocked in that area, it is not a good idea to fly because that can make things worse. At times, you may also need medical treatment for your symptoms.
What Are The Medical Treatments?
Those with a Eustachian Tube blockage can take nasal spray or decongestants to help things clear up until the infections subside. Acid reflux control can also help lessen the irritation to the back of the nose where this tube opens up. In severe situations, a pressure equalization tube (PET) can be surgically placed in the eardrum to replace the function of the Eustachian Tube. That will equalize the pressure in the middle ear. Young children who have frequent ear infections due to a poor Eustachian Tube function often have this done in order to prevent further infections.