2121 N. Craycroft Rd.
Tucson, Arizona 85712
PHONE: (520) 575-1272
FAX: (520) 575-1789
1358 W. Orange Grove Rd.
Tucson, Arizona 85704
Eustachian Tube (ET) Dysfunction
What are the symptoms?
Ear pain, especially when flying or driving up elevations
Sensation of clogged or plugged ear
Rupture of the eardrum.
What’s going on behind the scenes?
The ET is a very small pathway that balances the air space deep to the eardrum and the air cavity in the back of the nose. It also clears fluid from the middle ear. Because the ET is so small, it doesn’t take much to block it, which causes ET dysfunction.
It is normal to hear popping and crackling of the ears, especially when yawning or swallowing.
Illnesses causing inflammation or infections are some of the most common causes of this form of dysfunction. Infants are more prone to middle ear infections that cause ET dysfunction because their tubes are shorter and straighter than those of an adult. This makes it easier for germs to reach the middle ear and for fluid to become trapped there. ET dysfunction in adults is often caused by allergy.
How Tucson ENT can help
Treatment of ET dysfunction includes alleviating underlying causes like allergies, nasal polyps, adenoid enlargement. Obstruction can be further treated with ear tubes or eustachian tube dilation.