Recognize the function of the Eustachian canal in the ear and its disorders

The function of the eustachian tube is very important in the process of hearing and maintaining ear health. When the function of the eustachian tube is disturbed, you may experience ear pain, ringing in the ears, and even mild hearing loss.

The eustachian tube is a tube that connects the space behind the eardrum (middle ear) with the throat and the back of the nasal cavity. In adults, these canals have an average length of 35 mm and a diameter of about 3 mm.

Eustachian tube function

The function of the eustachian tube is to keep the middle ear healthy by equalizing the pressure inside and outside the ear, removing fluid from the middle ear, and protecting the ear from germs that cause infection.

In addition, the eustachian tract has a significant role in the ability to hear. When the ear is healthy, the eardrum vibrates normally. The vibration of the eardrum is what will determine the quality of your hearing.

The eustachian tube is normally closed but opens briefly when you swallow, yawn, or experience rapid changes in air pressure, such as when diving, climbing a mountain or flying an airplane.

When this channel is open, air will enter and make the air pressure in the middle ear and outside the ear equal. The process of opening the eustachian tube often causes a blocked ear sensation. However, this sensation will disappear by itself after the air pressure in the ear returns to normal.

If the eustachian tube does not open while equalizing the pressure inside and outside the ear, symptoms such as dizziness, discomfort, or ringing in the ears may occur.

Some Disorders of the Eustachian Tract and Their Treatment

The following are a number of disorders that can hinder the function of the eustachian tube:

Eustachian tube dysfunction

Eustachian tube dysfunction (ETD) is a condition when the eustachian tube is blocked or does not open properly. This condition causes air cannot enter the middle ear, so the pressure in the middle ear is less than the pressure outside the ear. According to Osmosis Eustachian tube dysfunction (ETD) – causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, pathology

The unbalanced pressure then makes the eardrum stiffen and cannot vibrate properly when it picks up sound waves. This can cause a number of symptoms, such as:

1. Hearing impaired
2. Earache
3. Full sensation in the ear
4. Ears ringing
5. Vertigo or dizziness spinning

Blockage of the eustachian tube is generally caused by inflammation or a buildup of fluid in the ear canal. The condition is often caused by infection, allergies, and sinusitis or inflammation of the sinus cavities.

In addition, disturbances in the function of the eustachian tract are also more at risk for people who frequently smoke or are exposed to secondhand smoke, and people who are overweight.

To overcome eustachian tube dysfunction, there are several treatments that can be done by doctors, including:

1. Give decongestant drugs to reduce swelling in the eustachian tract
2. Prescribing antihistamines or steroid nasal sprays to reduce allergic response
3. Aspirates the fluid in the middle ear by making a small incision in the eardrum
4. Inserting a balloon ear catheter into the eustachian tube through the nose to help open the canal
5. Inserting a eustachian tube to help drain fluid that has accumulated in the middle ear

Otitis media

Ear fluid buildup in the middle ear can cause infection or also called otitis media. According To Alila Medical Media Otitis Media: Anatomy, Pathophysiology, Risk Factors, Types of OM, Symptoms and Treatment, Animation

This condition is quite common in children because their eustachian tubes are shorter and easily blocked.

In addition, children also have weak immune systems and are still developing, making them vulnerable to infection.

Otitis media usually gets better within a few days without any treatment. The doctor will observe for approximately 48 hours or give antibiotics to treat bacterial infections that attack the middle ear.

To relieve the pain that appears, doctors will generally prescribe pain relievers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen. In addition, anesthetic drops can also be given to relieve pain in the eardrum that does not have a hole or tear in it.

Patulous eustachian tube

The patulous eustachian tube is a rare function of the eustachian tube. This condition occurs when the eustachian tube is open all the time.

Patients with a patulous eustachian tube will usually experience symptoms in the form of hearing loss due to increased pressure in the ear. He will feel his breath sound louder.

Until now, the factors that cause this condition are still not known with certainty. However, there are several factors that can increase a person’s risk of having a patulous eustachian tube, including:

1. History of surgery or radiation therapy to the nose and throat
2. Nerve disorders, such as multiple sclerosis and stroke
3. Frequent stress or anxiety
4. Extreme weight loss
5. Pregnancy
6. Side effects of drugs, such as diuretics and birth control pills

To treat a patulous eustachian tube, the doctor will usually give drugs that are sprayed through the nose or surgery.

The importance of the function of the eustachian canal is the same as that of the rest of the ear. Therefore, if you experience symptoms of Eustachian tube dysfunction as mentioned above, or if these symptoms do not improve after 48 hours, immediately consult a doctor for appropriate treatment.

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