ZocdocAnswersHow will an ENT Specialist examine the eustachian tube?

Question

How will an ENT Specialist examine the eustachian tube?

In March I started having a fullness in my ear. In May I went to the doctors to have it flushed and was told it was a blocked eustachian tube. Used Neilmed Sinus Rinse as they thought it might be allergie related. Tried this for a month but the problem was becoming a daily issue instead of happening every few days. I am now more than 3/4 way through a 60 day course of Omnaris Ciclesonide nasal spray. It is only blocking off a couple of times a week now but lasts for a few hours. I'm finding when it does block off I get a feeling of being off balance, sound like I have a heavy cold, and I have trouble to hear out of the ear and there is lots of pressure. If this latest course of nasel spray does not help the doctor is going to send me to an ENT Specialist. if it is not an allergie that is the cause what else could it be and what else will they be looking for?

Answer

It sounds like your primary doctor has done a good initial job with this issue. Indeed, allergies or sinus problems are one of the more common causes of stuffy ears or "eustachian tube dysfunction." Often these can be treated just as was done in your case, with nasal irrigation and with a nasal steroid spray. The fact that your symptoms have improved a lot sounds to me like you and your doctor may be on the right track, and hopefully things will continue to get better. If not, going to see an ENT doctor for additional workup is a good idea. There are several additional causes of eustachian tube dysfunction that they will be able to consider, including scarring of the eustachian tubes. The investigations that they will perform will likely include looking closely inside your ear at your ear drum. They will also want to look closely at the back of your throat, potentially with a small camera. Finally, they may want to get an audiogram to assess the effect of the tube dysfunction on your hearing. Based on what they find with these tests, they will be able to make recommendations about what other treatments might be needed.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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