The eustachian tube also known as Auditory tube, Oropharyngeal tube or Pharyngotympanic tube is a narrow passage that joins the middle ear to the upper part of pharynx allowing the equalization of air pressure on both sides of the eardrum.
Eustachian tube performs the following important functions such as the normal opening of Eustachian tube balance the atmospheric pressure in the middle ear while the closing of Eustachian tube safeguards middle ear from undesirable pressure variations and loud noises.
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It also helps in ‘Mucociliary clearance’, which helps in draining away mucus from the middle ear to the upper part of the pharynx. At home you can easily treat Eustachian tube dysfunction, however, symptoms of Eustachian tube dysfunction also require to consult a doctor for the treatment process.
Eustachian Tube Dysfunction (ETD)
Eustachian Tube Dysfunction (ETD) is a painful situation where Eustachian tube got choked leading to hearing problems, feeling of fullness in ears and pain. Allergic disorders like the common cold; altitude changes experienced while air traveling, hikes or mountain trekking, and bacterial infections are some of the leading causes of ETD.
ETD can happen to anyone but, children are more vulnerable to it. It’s because children do have smaller Eustachian tubes, which increases chances of getting mucus-clogged. Also, they are more vulnerable to infections and their immune systems are still evolving.
Symptoms of Eustachian Tube Dysfunction (ETD)
Here are some of the symptoms of Eustachian tube dysfunction one can experience during ETD –
- Ear Fullness – often described as increased air pressure in ears resulting from altitude changes, extreme weather temperatures, etc.
- Hearing loss
- Tinnitus – sounds like the sensation of noise or ringing in ears when no outside sound is present. Irregular ear-popping, clicking noises.
- Ear Itching – a tickling sensation in ears caused due to bacterial infections, allergies.
- Ear Discomfort
It’s quite common these days to have an ETD and it may be settled on its own or through home-remedial measures. In acute cases or if problem recurring again doctor consult is a must.
For additional info:
- Ear Infection Is One Of The Main Cause For Hearing Loss
- Ear Barotrauma: Pressure in The Ears (Causes Symptoms & Treatment)
- Airplanes and ear pain – What to do and why it happens?