Eustachian Tube Problems - Experience

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What is the Eustachian tube?

The Eustachian tube originates in the rear of the nose adjacent to the soft palate, runs a slightly uphill course, and ends in the middle ear space. The middle ear space is the hollowed out portion of the skull bone that contains the hearing apparatus and is covered on one side by the eardrum. In adults, the Eustachian tube is approximately 35 mm long (1.3 inches) and approximately 3 mm in diameter (less than 1/10 inch). Cartilage provides the supporting structure for the first two-thirds of the Eustachian tube, with the last third (the part closest to the middle ear space) being made of bone.

The tissue that lines the Eustachian tube is similar to that inside the nasal cavity and may respond the same way (swelling) when presented with similar stimuli. The Eustachian tube was named in honor of the 16th century Italian anatomist Eustachius. Sources credit Almaceon of Sparta as the first to describe the structure in approximately 400 BC.

Return to Eustachian Tube Problems (Problems Clearing Your Ears)

See what others are saying

Comment from: vamark, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: November 23

For over five years I have had a blockage in my middle ear that prevents the fluid from discharging through the eustachian tube. An ENT prescribed a steroid which I took for a week. The only thing it did was to make me jittery and sleepless. I am able to remove a small amount of fluid by holding my nose and blowing, but I can never get enough out to hear properly. I also have a constant ringing in the ear.

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Comment from: Tfhj, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 30

My eustachian tube problems started 3 months ago with ear wax. I have single sided hearing with 40 percent SNHL (sensorineural hearing loss) in the hearing ear and started experiencing tinnitus (roaring). My ear felt full and has a cool wet burning sensation occurring daily. The fullness and burning happens off and on all day. Sometimes the burning last for hours. I am learning to manage the roaring with a low salt diet. My hearing often sounds muffled especially without my hearing aid, but my ENT says my hearing is not being damaged. The burning and fullness is so disturbing. My ENT told me to take Allegra daily. I also take Benadryl at night.

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