Your Eustachian tubes are the passageways that connect your middle ears to the back of your throat. Their jobs are to allow fluid to drain from the middle ear and to allow air pressure to equalize between your middle ear and your environment.
Sometimes, the Eustachian tubes are not able to do these jobs, and when this happens, you are said to have Eustachian tube dysfunction. According to one 2018 study, “The incidence of Eustachian tube dysfunction in adults is about 1%, in children almost 40%.”
We review how Eustachian tube dysfunction is treated in this post.
Some simple home remedies can oftentimes provide relief from Eustachian tube dysfunction. These include:
- Chewing gum
- Trying the Valsalva maneuver (breathing out while pinching the nostrils and closing the mouth)
- Using saline spray to clear the nasal passages
If you think your young child has Eustachian tube dysfunction, you can give them a pacifier or bottle to suck on.
Certain over-the-counter medications you can pick up at King Soopers Pharmacy off I-95 can address the cause of or the pain associated with your Eustachian tube dysfunction, such as:
In more severe cases, prescription medications may be offered, like:
If your Eustachian tube dysfunction is chronic or severe, your ear, nose and throat (ENT) physician may recommend surgery. There are several surgeries that address Eustachian tube dysfunction, including:
- Myringotomy. For this procedure, your surgeon makes a small incision on your eardrum to drain fluid from the middle ear. The hole stays open long enough for the swelling in your Eustachian tubes to go down in most cases.
- Ear tubes. Also known as pressure equalization tubes, these are placed in the eardrum to allow ventilation of the middle ear for as long as one year. The tubes then fall out as the eardrum heals. This is the most popular option for children.
- Eustachian tuboplasty. This procedure is also called Eustachian tube balloon dilation. It’s a newer procedure where the Eustachian tubes are expanded with a tiny balloon.
For more information about Eustachian tube dysfunction or to schedule an appointment with an expert ENT physician, call Advantage ENT & Audiology today.