Ear pressure problems – EUSTACHIAN TUBE PROBLEMS

Questions

  • Do you frequently feel pressure in your ears?
  • Do you often get pain in your ears?
  • Do you have a feeling that your ears are clogged or "under water"?
  • Do you get ear problems and pain when you have a cold or sinus infection?
  • Do you offer notice crackling or popping sounds in your ears?
  • Do you notice ringing or buzzing in your ears?
  • Do you feel like your hearing is muffled?
  • Do you have problems popping your ears on an airplane or driving down a mountain?
  • Do you get frequent ear infections?
  • Do you know someone who answers YES to these questions?

About Ear Pressure Problems

  • The Eustachian tube connects the air space behind the ear drum to the back of the nose.
  • It opens to allow air to pass into and out of the middle ear and equalize the pressure with the outside world.
  • Eustachian tube problems may cause:
    • Ear pressure or pain
    • Problems popping the ears
    • Severe ear pain or pressure when flying or scuba diving
    • Fluid behind the ear drum
    • Repeated ear infections

 

Video

Eustachian Tube Balloonplasty

In this video, Dr. Levine educates us about the eustachian tube, the problems we can have and how the Eustachian tube balloonplasty procedure works to help your Eustachian tube problems.

 

Solutions 

  • Nose sprays such as saline rinses, decongestant sprays for a day or trip and topical steroid sprays
  • Medications such as oral decongestants and oral steroids
  • Exercises to open the Eustachian tube.
    • Chew gum. Drink liquids. Any activity that forces you to swallow will help decrease pressure.
    • Yawn. Open your mouth wide.
    • Irrigate with the saline spray and blow your nose.
    • Blow up a balloon and let the air out and repeat this 10 times.
    • Pinch your nose closed between your thumb and index finger. Keep your mouth closed tight.  Blow out against your closed nose and mouth to force air into your ears.
    • Never not blow so hard that it causes you pain or dizziness.
  • Surgeries 
    • Eustachian tube balloonplasty
      • Using a scope in the nose
      • A balloon dilation catheter is passed into the Eustachian tube
      • The balloon is in
    • Myringotomy and tube
      • An incision is placed in the eardrum
      • Middle ear fluid is suctioned from the middle ear
      • A tube can be placed in this opening to release pressure
      • Tubes stay in the eardrum from 6-24 months and usually fall out spontaneously
    • Surgery such as endoscopic sinus surgery, polypectomy