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A Eustachian tube dysfunction happens when the Eustachian tubes fail to equalize the air pressure in your middle ears. When the tubes are open, they allow air to flow in and out. If the tubes are blocked, this is called Eustachian tube dysfunction. When this happens, sounds may be muffled and you may experience a sensation of ear fullness or discomfort. If you have experienced this, we can provide treatment for your Eustachian tube dysfunction at ENT Associates of San Diego.
Symptoms of Eustachian Tube Dysfunction
The most common signs of Eustachian tube dysfunction include the following:
- Ears feeling full or plugged
- A clicking or popping sensation
- Sounds seem muffled
- Pain in one ear or both
- Difficulty keeping balance
- Ringing in the ears
These symptoms may worsen whenever you change altitude when you fly, go to the mountains, dive, or ride in an elevator.
Causes of Eustachian Tube Dysfunction
Eustachian tube dysfunction is usually caused by the common cold, sinus infections or nasal allergies. When these conditions cause mucus buildup and inflammation, they may block the tubes.
Another potential cause is chronic acid reflux (GERD), because when the stomach acid backs up to your throat, it may cause inflammation. Eustachian tube dysfunction can also be caused by quick changes in elevation.
Diagnosing Eustachian Tube Dysfunction
During a visit to ENT Associates of San Diego, one of our skilled and experienced doctors will examine your eardrums and ear canals, the back of the throat, and/or the nasal passages.
Your doctor will discuss their findings with you and recommend an effective treatment option. They will go over the details of the treatment process and will be happy to answer any questions.
Usually, self-care steps such as swallowing, yawning, or chewing gum will prevent or correct the differences in pressure and improve the ear pressure symptoms. Using a saline spray and breathing out hard with a closed mouth and pinched nostrils may also help. If the symptoms of ear pressure do not resolve, you should consult your doctor.
Certain cases require medications, such as antihistamines for allergies or pain relievers to relieve the discomfort. Some may warrant antibiotics to reduce inflammation.
Chronic Eustachian tube dysfunction may require surgery. Myringotomy involves making a small cut in the eardrum to remove the fluid. Eustachian tuboplasty uses a balloon to expand the tubes, inflate them, deflate them, and then remove them. Pressure equalization tubes may be installed in the ear to give the middle ear enough ventilation and good pressure.
How Much Does Eustachian Tube Dysfunction Treatment Cost?
The cost of Eustachian Tube Dysfunction treatment depends on the individual needs of each patient. The ENT Associates of San Diego will construct a personalized treatment plan to address your needs and discuss the associated price during your initial consultation.
Contact Our Office
The ENT Associates of San Diego is dedicated to providing treatments for Eustachian tube dysfunction in San Diego, Chula Vista, and La Mesa with innovative ENT services designed with the patients’ unique needs in mind. If you’re interested in learning more, contact our office to schedule your informative consultation today.