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Eustachian Tube Dysfunction

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The Eustachian tube is a small tube between your throat and middle ear that keeps air pressure and fluid from building up inside your ear. When you sneeze, swallow, or yawn, your Eustachian tubes open, which allows the draining. However, sometimes a Eustachian tube may get plugged. This is what we call Eustachian tube dysfunction. Eustachian tube dysfunction (ETD) is one of the most common diagnoses in the ENT field.

Symptoms of Eustachian Tube Dysfunction

  • Fullness or “plugged” feeling in ears.
  • Muffled sounds.
  • A popping or click sensations.
  • Pain in one or both ears.
  • Tinnitus (ringing in your ears).
  • May have trouble keeping balance
Symptoms typically get worse with elevation changes, such as flying in an airplane, driving through mountains, diving, etc.

What causes Eustachian Tube Dysfunction?

The most common cause of Eustachian tube dysfunction is when mucus or fluid gets built up in the tube due to inflammation. This can be caused by sickness, a sinus infection, or allergies.

Dr. Ronen Nazarian, a fellowship-trained ear surgeon, has dedicated much of his work to developing an ETD program to help effectively and safely diagnose and treat the various causes of ETD. Dr. Nazarian has gained a deep understanding and appreciation for the Eustachian Tube. Appropriate and timely treatment of ETD is the cornerstone for properly managing chronic ear disease. We have found that almost all patients with chronic ear disease, recurrent ear infections, cholesteatoma, and ear drum issues have some underlying Eustachian tube dysfunction that has never been properly addressed.

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