Eustachian Tube Dysfunction
Eustachian tubes are the passageways connecting the upper part of your throat to the middle ears. Whenever you swallow, sneeze, or yawn these tubes open and let air flow through. It is possible for Eustachian tubes to get clogged, which is known as Eustachian tube dysfunction.
Eustachian tube dysfunction can result in a variety of symptoms, including:
- Full or plugged feeling in the ear
- Muffled hearing
- Popping or clicking sensations
- Ringing in the ear
These symptoms usually increase in severity when you are in an elevator, on a plane, or experiencing other changes in altitude.
Eustachian tube dysfunction is sometimes caused by inflammation that is triggered by a cold, flu, sinus infection or allergies, but it is also possible for children to suffer eustachian tube dysfunction because of their developing tubes that are shorter and straighter.
Treatment for eustachian tube dysfunction varies based on the cause. Sometimes it clears up on its own or by treating the underlying causes with medication. Chronic cases in children might require placement of tubes to support the natural function of the developing Eustachian tubes.