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Under Pressure: Eustachian Tube Disease and Ear Pressure

Do you frequently suffer from ear pain and pressure? Does it seem worse with changes in pressure, such as changes in altitude or the weather? You may be suffering from Eustachian Tube Disorder.

The Eustachian Tube is a small canal, connecting the middle ear to the back of the nose. The purpose of the Eustachian Tube is to allow for air to flow into the ear and fluid to drain out. It is lined with mucosa, like the rest of the nose. Like the nose, the tissues of the Eustachian Tube can become swollen with allergies, infection or chronic sinus disease.

When those tissues become swollen, air can’t flow in and fluid can’t drain out, leaving you with pressurized, painful ears, muffled hearing, tinnitus, and sometimes dizziness.

The treatment for Eustachian Tube Disorder starts with medicines that also treat nasal swelling, allergies and chronic sinus disease, such as Afrin (5 days ONLY), pseudoephedrine (if you don’t have blood pressure issues), and Flonase. If that doesn’t work, there are options for tubes in the ear drum or a new treatment, called a Eustachian Tube Balloon. Talk to your ENT about your options.

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