Eustachian Tube Dysfunction

Broward ENT Services

ENT Surgeons located in Fort Lauderdale, FL

Your eustachian tube is a tiny structure in your ear that significantly influences your balance and state of mind. You need a well-trusted ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist to take care of your irritating ear troubles, like Wilson DuMornay, MD of Broward ENT Services. His highly-skilled expertise makes him one of the most referred specialists in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. If your ears are bothering you, don’t hesitate to call or book an appointment with Dr. DuMornay online.

Eustachian Tube Dysfunction Q & A

What is a eustachian tube?

Your eustachian tube is a tiny passageway in your ear that connects your middle ear to your throat. The eustachian tube serves three primary purposes:

  • Drains fluids
  • Equalizes pressure from both sides
  • Keep pathogens from entering the middle ear

When your eustachian tube isn’t working properly, it’s referred to as eustachian tube dysfunction.

What is eustachian tube dysfunction?

Eustachian tube dysfunction is the name for plugged or inflamed eustachian tubes that prevent the tubes from serving their main functions. Fluids may get trapped in the tube and allow bacteria to cause an infection.

Symptoms of a eustachian tube dysfunction include:

  • Ear pain
  • Hearing loss
  • Tinnitus, or ringing in your ears
  • Plugged or muffled feeling in your ears
  • Clicking or popping sensation
  • Balance problems

Usually, a virus, sinus infection, or allergy causes eustachian tube dysfunction. Occasionally, an elevation change or an injury causes damage to the middle ear or eardrum.

When should I see a doctor?

Check with Dr. DuMornay whenever you experience new or unexplained ear trouble. You may also want to check with him if you experience any of the following:

  • You have symptoms of eustachian tube dysfunction
  • Your symptoms don’t resolve after two weeks
  • You or your child have recurrent ear infections
  • Your ears cause significant pain or disruption

An evaluation by a qualified ENT specialist is the best way to find out if you have a eustachian tube dysfunction and seek treatment.

How do you treat eustachian tube dysfunctions?

Most instances of eustachian tube dysfunction clear up on their own. You may be able to chew gum or use other methods to pop your ears, especially if air travel causes the dysfunction.

If symptoms don’t clear up on their own, Dr. DuMornay has you start with conservative treatments like decongestants, antihistamines, nasal steroid spray, and antibiotics. He only recommends surgery when other less invasive treatments are ineffective.

Surgery options for eustachian tube dysfunction include:

  • Myringotomy: suck out fluid through a tiny incision in the tube
  • Ear tubes: tubes, usually for children, that ventilate the middle ear
  • Balloon dilation: inflate a balloon inside the tube to open it and restore function

If you have ear troubles, contact Dr. DuMornay online or over the phone to schedule an evaluation.