What is the Eustachian tube?
The Eustachian tubes connect the front wall of the middle ear to the sidewall of the nasopharynx (top part of the throat). These tubes help drain fluid away from and equalize air pressure inside the ears.
Eustachian tube dysfunction
It is believed that as many as 1 in 100 people suffer from Eustachian tube dysfunction also known as Eustachian tube blockage. Common causes include but are not limited to heavy colds, sinusitis, allergies and illnesses. It occurs when negative pressure builds up in the middle ear due to limited air being able to reach it. The reason for the lack of air being able to circulate tends to be down to a blockage/dysfunction of the Eustachian tube.
Symptoms of Eustachian tube dysfunction
You may experience the feeling of your ears being blocked or a pressure similar to the type you may experience when taking off or landing during a flight. Some people develop tinnitus and sounds can become muffled. Many of the symptoms for Eustachian tube dysfunction are very similar if not the same as earwax build up. If you are experiencing these symptoms and would like to rule out earwax please contact us to arrange a consultation with one of our ear care professionals by calling 07598 303 877.
Treatment for Eustachian tube dysfunction at home
Eustachian tube dysfunction can usually be treated and managed at home. Self-treatment may include the following:
Steam inhalation – Steam inhalation can ease symptoms and open up the airways by getting warm air into the nasal passage and subsequently the Eustachian tubes.
Nasal decongestant – A nasal decongestant will help reduce swelling, inflammation and congestion allowing the air pressure to release and stabilise.
If after 7 days of self-treating at home your symptoms still persist you should contact your GP for further advice and a possible Ear, Nose and Throat referral.