Eustachian tubes are small pipe like structures that run between the middle ear and upper throat, designed to equalise ear pressure. They are usually closed except when a person is yawning, swallowing or eating. The Eustachian tubes can sometimes get blocked due to a variety of reasons, mainly due to the accumulation of excessive mucous when a person catches severe cold. Other reasons for blockage are hiking, rock climbing, flying in aeroplane or riding an elevator. Blockage of Eustachian tubes can cause tremendous pain within the area. It can also lead to hearing difficulties, ringing in the ear, clicking or popping sounds, ticklish feeling in the ear and a feeling of fullness in the ears. Such disorders are collectively termed as Eustachian Tube Dysfunction.
If a person suffers from Eustachian Tube Dysfunction, healing from this disease is not such a difficult thing. But if this condition persists for a longer time, then the person should visit a doctor, who would examine and diagnose the problem. Otherwise, Eustachian Tube Dysfunction is a problem that can be resolved at home itself, especially if it is not caused by any illness. Such remedies include chewing of gum, breathing out with nostrils and mouth closed, yawning, using saline nasal spray for cleaning out the Eustachian Tube and by trying to swallow. All these remedies can actually help a person cure this problem.
If a person is facing Eustachian Tube Dysfunction due to some allergies, then this can be solved by medication, as prescribed by the concerned doctor.
Eustachian Tube Dysfunction, though mainly a minor problem and can be easily solved at home, some of the cases can be extremely problematic and can give rise to severe troubles. In such cases, medical aid is required to take care of the suffering person. If an allergy is causing Eustachian Tube Dysfunction, then anti-allergic medicines like antihistamines such as diphenhydramine and cetirizine can be consumed to reduce allergic conditions. Certain pain relievers like acetaminophen and ibuprofen can reduce the pain in the ear.
Sometimes, the Eustachian Tube can get infected if it is blocked for a prolonged time period. In such cases, the doctor would check the ear and throat and the condition of the Eustachian Tube in order to find out the severity of the disorder. After thorough checking, the doctor may prescribe certain antibiotics to cure the problem. Antibiotics can be in the form of ear drops or tablets or both. Oral corticosteroids are recommended by the doctor to the patient if the inflammation is too severe.
In rare cases, fluid accumulation within the Eustachian Tube may become too severe. This may compel the doctor to operate the ear. Doctors might need to make a small incision in the eardrum if fluid starts to accumulate within the Eustachian Tube. Fluid accumulation behind the eardrum followed by blockage of the Eustachian Tube is a very critical phenomenon and is the most severe stage of Eustachian Tube Dysfunction. Therefore, surgical treatment of the ear for this disorder is rare, but not unheard of.
Any person who is having this problem is eligible to take this treatment. Not everyone needs to see a doctor for this condition, as for most cases, this problem is solved at home itself. Only in case of infection or severe pain in the ear, one needs to consult a doctor.
A person who is not affected by Eustachian Tube Dysfunction is ineligible to undergo the treatment for the same.
There are no such side effects of the treatment for Eustachian Tube Dysfunction. Certain medicines prescribed by the doctors to cure Eustachian Tube Dysfunction can have mild effects on the other body parts. Antibiotics, if consumed by the patient can cause diarrhoea, white patches in the skin, vaginal itching and white discharge (among women), occurrence of rashes, swelling of tongue or lips and vomiting in certain patients. Oral tablets generally lead to such problems. If steroids are being prescribed by the doctor, then the patient might have acne, insomnia, loss or gain of hair, high blood pressure, weight gain and other problems.
Since Eustachian Tube Dysfunction is not a critical disorder in most cases, the treatment for this problem does not have specific set of guidelines. If a person is suffering from Eustachian Tube Dysfunction and it somehow gets critical due to accumulation of mucous, infection or allergy, then he/she should keep in mind that those conditions do not come back. The basic post treatment guideline for Eustachian Tube Dysfunction is to take care and be cautious about this problem. Avoiding allergic items and severe cold is recommended. In case a patient has to undergo a surgery, then he/she needs to take rest as advised by the concerned doctor.
Since Eustachian Tube Dysfunction is a mild problem therefore it is solved at home easily within a few minutes. Very rarely, the patient may take 3 to 4 days, or even a week to recover from this discomfort.
Treatment of Eustachian Tube Dysfunction does not cost much, even if the person has to visit medical personnel to solve it. The price of the treatment may range from Rs. 500 to Rs. 5000, in case of heavy medication or minor surgery.
The results of this treatment may not be permanent. This is because people can catch cold and the tube can get choked again, or may get allergic and infected repeatedly. In such cases, the same procedure of treatment needs to be followed.