So, what would cause the eustachian tube to not open up properly? Well, something could be physically blocking the opening of the eustachian tube in the nose, most notably large adenoids
. In rare cases, it could even be a tumor. Endoscopy
is required to evaluate for these possibilities. More commonly, the eustachian tube does not open properly due to inflammatory conditions, especially allergies, resulting in the tube becoming inflamed and swollen. That's why when people get a cold or allergies are bad, their ears also becomes affected. This condition is known as Eustachian Tube Dysfunction
. Treatment is based on the underlying condition. If due to large adenoids
is the treatment. If due to Eustachian Tube Dysfunction, than treatment is with steroid nasal sprays
for about 6 weeks along with Afrin
for 3 days. These sprays are used differently than normal and instructions on the correct use can be found here
. Throughout this time period, one must try to pop the ears 15-20 times per day (hourly) and also immediately after nasal spray use. Ear popping is done by pinching the nose and blowing gently (about the same amount of pressure as if one has mild constipation). Popping the ears in this manner, esp after nasal spray use helps to squeeze some of the medication into the eustachian tube.