Eustachian Tube Surgery

The connection between the middle ear and the nasopharynx is the Eustachian tube. The modern name of this Eustachian tube is Pharyngotympanic tube medically. This tube forms a part of the middle ear. The main function of the Eustachian tube is to aerate the middle ear making sure that the pressure in the middle ear is intact.



It also drains the collected fluids, discharge, and infection from the middle ear. Small muscles that are located in theback of the throat and palate regulate the opening and closing of this Eustachian tube. In the absence of this tube, the middle ear would have had pressure fluctuations leading to permanent ear problems.

Infection and inflammation from cold, allergies and sinus problem block this Eustachian tubes leading to variation in pressure. Fluids start collecting in the middle ear and the pressure and the fluids together cause ear pain. Young children are more prone to ear infections, as their Eustachian tube is shorter than the older children and adults.

What are the symptoms of blocked Eustachian tubes? When the ear feels full the patient may also experience pain. Dizziness, different types of noises in the ear, fever due to infection and hearing loss indicate blocked Eustachian tubes.
Some people have ear problem while in flight due to unequal pressure due to the inward push of the eardrum. This mostly happens when the plane descends. Normal swallowing and chewing quickly can equalize this pressure.

The problem is diagnosed with the above symptoms and by hearing tests done by the doctor. The doctor suggests simple exercises and at times over the counter medications is prescribed which can be antibiotics when there is infection. A heating pad used to reduce pain in older children.

The surgery for blocked Eustachian tubes is a procedure where a small hole is made in the eardrum to drain the fluid and equalize the pressure in the middle ear. A small tube is inserted in the eardrum that falls out with time.

Eustachian tuboplasty is a nasal endoscopic procedure done in adults is done for people with chronic Eustachian tube dysfunction or middle ear effusion. During the procedure, the surgeon removes the mucosa and cartilage depending on the severity of the condition. It is done with general anesthesia on outpatient basis. The cartilage is not removed if the blockage is not acute. This is a less complicated surgery and the patients undergo very little pain.

The other types of surgery related to Eustachian tube are the patulous Eustachian tube surgery for patulous Eustachian disease where the tube does not open normally and a less invasive type of surgery helps to restore the Eustachian tube functions.

Obstructive Eustachian tube surgery – Adenoidectomy is done when a large adenoid obstructs the opening of the Eustachian tube that results in chronic ear infections in children.

Surgery should be opted as the last resort when medications, decongestants, nasal sprays of different types and other treatments and therapies do not work.



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