The human ear can be divided into three parts: the outer ear, middle ear and inner ear. All these parts work together and helps us in hearing and balancing our body. The Eustachian tube is a part of middle ear which connects the upper part of the throat or nasopharynx to the middle ear. It is nearly 3.75 cm in length in adults, and comparatively smaller in infants and children.
The Eustachian tube is usually closed, and opens at the time of yawning, sneezing, chewing, etc. It maintains or equalizes the air pressure between both the sides of the eardrum, drains the fluid build up in the middle ear, and also protects our ears from loud music. But there are many reasons which may result in Eustachian tube dysfunction and cause pain, fluid buildup, ringing of the ears, etc.
Eustachian Tube Dysfunction Treatments
Eustachian tube, as we know, is usually closed and opens either to equalize the balance of air, or drain out the fluid from the middle ear. But due to some reason this tube either gets blocked or remains open for a prolonged time. This condition is known as Eustachian tube dysfunction. There are three types of Eustachian tube dysfunction: blockage or obstruction, patulous Eustachian tube and palatal myoclonus.
Blockage or Obstruction
Enlarged adenoids, colds, allergies, sinus problems, deviated septum, reflux of stomach acid and neurological problems are some of the causes of blocked Eustachian tube. These causes may result in fluid build up, pain, fullness, or infection. In severe cases, it may also cause hearing loss.
Patulous Eustachian tube
In this condition, the Eustachian tube is open for a long period of time. The causes are still not confirmed but it is observed after weight loss and during pregnancy. In patulous Eustachian tube condition the person will hear his own breathing and will observe some other symptoms like voice reverberation, vertigo and hearing loss.
This is a very rare condition in which the palate muscles twitch and make a clicking sound as the tube opens and closes. The cause for this condition is unknown.
Usually this dysfunction is mild and does not harm much. It persists for some days, and then subsides on its own as the causes subside. But in some cases when the person faces a lot of pain and discomfort he/she may need some treatment. Following are some treatment options and remedies which will help you to get rid of this condition.
- This is a very simple way to open up your blocked tube. Just breath in and then close you mouth and pinch you nose so that the air doesn't pass through your nose and mouth. Now try to exhale without letting the mouth and nose open. This will force the Eustachian tube to open and release the air. This will give you relief from pain and from other discomfort.
- Decongestant spray drops are helpful in resolving the problem of nasal congestion, which in turn will reduce swelling and will open up the tube.
- In case of allergies, such as hay fever, the doctor may prescribe antihistamine tablets and sprays to get relief from the nasal congestion and inflammation which will open the tube.
- The easiest way to open Eustachian tube is to chew on a gum. This will make the muscles active and will open the tube. Yawning can also help opening the close tube.
- Garlic can be a good home remedy for blocked Eustachian tube. Take 2 to 3 cloves in ¼ teaspoon of edible oil. Boil them and strain them after cooling. Mix it with the oil, and then use it as an eardrop. Its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties will reduce the pain as well as the infection.
- Bezold is used in nasal sprays. This is very effective in closing the Eustachian tubes in case of patulous dysfunction.