ZocdocAnswersWhat can be done to clear a blocked Eustachian tube?

Question

What can be done to clear a blocked Eustachian tube?

It has been blocked for three months. My ENT has prescribed numerous medications (OTC allergy meds, Flonase, QNasal, OTC Afrin, and methylprednisolone), none of which have had any effect. I am beyond frustrated...

Answer

So sorry to hear about this difficult problem. The eustachian tube can be blocked for any number of reasons. Of course, we are all familiar with the symptoms that are caused by a blocked ear drum, with increased pressure behind the ear, changes in hearing, pain, and other concerns. While most of us can have these symptoms associated with a cold or other infections (such as a sinus infection), there are also other reasons for a blocked eustachian tube. It is good that you have already started to work with an ear nose and throat surgeon (AKA ENT AKA otolaryngology-head and neck surgeon). He or she will be able to examine where the eustachian tube empties to make sure that there is no mass that is obstructing the opening. Other things that can cause these symptoms exist as well, but one of the most common is eustachian tube dysfunction. This is a condition in which the tube does not work properly, and so air and fluid are not able to pass readily between the middle ear and the nasopharynx. In these cases, the symptoms of eustachian tube obstruction can be present. In some cases, a myringotomy with a tube may help. Please speak with your doctor.

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