What Is Eustachian Tube Dysfunction?

What Is Eustachian Tube Dysfunction?

What Is Eustachian Tube Dysfunction?

The Eustachian Tube consists of a narrow tube which joins the middle ear space with the nasal cavity, allowing air in and out.  When you go up or down in an aeroplane, or up and down a mountain your Eustachian Tube goes 'POP!' when it opens. This allows the air pressure to equalize across your eardrum.

Without this equalization then a pressure gradient builds up. This means there is a higher pressure on one side than the other.  This stops the ear drum from vibrating in response to sound and so muffles hearing.  If the gradient becomes steep enough your drum might perforate (tear). This creates a hole which can up to six weeks to heal. 

Eustachian Tube Dysfunction prevents the tube opening. This means that the air pressure isn't equalized and fluid often builds up behind the ear; 'Glue Ear'.  This is common in children simply because their tubes are narrow. This makes them likely to clog with only a very small amount of inflammation or mucus.  Ear infections are more common.  Luckily children tend to grow out of it as their tubes get bigger. In the meantime they may need grommets or hearing aids to tide them over.

Our ear plugs are great for keeping water out of the ears. They are also antibacterial so help prevent ear infections. You can buy them on Amazon.  

Next time; 'What Are The Consequences Of  A Perforated Eardrum?'