Eustachian Tube Dysfunction

EustachianTubeDysfDo your ears feel stuffy? Patients often complain of feeling that their ears are stuffed up during and after a sinus infection or allergy. In many cases this sensation improves with time, however, in certain cases it does not, causing discomfort. The reason for this lies in the anatomy of the nasal passage.

At the back of the nasal passage is an opening called the Eustachian Tube. This tube connects directly to the middle ear space and provides ventilation of the middle ear. In allergic flareups or sinus infections, the opening to this tube becomes inflamed and swells shut. It is difficult to ventilate the middle ear and patients will experience a feeling of pressure or stuffiness in their ears. The medical term for this symptom is aural congestion.

ENT examination will often reveal a retracted eardrum, or in some cases, fluid in the middle ear. Most patients will improve without intervention, but some patients may require medication to assist with symptom improvement. In rare cases patients may have difficulty restoring normal ventilation of their middle ear, and a tube is placed in the eardrum for ventilation assistance.

If you feel you have symptoms similar to those discussed above, feel free to contact us for further assessment and treatment.