An observation about Eustachian Tube Disfunction

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Is ETD specific to this tube not closing properly, or are there various problems that may occur as part of this condition?

My symptoms suggest to me that the tube doesn't close properly I.e. Find it difficult to unpop my ears, my ears pop too readily (every time I swallow in fact) .

Now, I have a cold at the moment, and have noticed that as a result of my sinuses and nose being blocked up, the symptoms above actually improve, suggesting to me that adding mass (in this case snot! Sorry!) to the tube makes it close properly.

Does this make sense, and if so is there some sort of procedure that can permanently add mass to the tube so that it closes properly. I saw recently on YouTube an operation to insert silicone into the lining of the tube, I assume to bulk it out so that it closes properly.

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11 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Rory, eustachian tube dysfunction ETD means any problem with the eustachian tube BUT, in reality it is usually only used to describe a eustachian tube that closes more than it should, causing negative pressure in the middle ear and fluid/infection behind the ear drum. Even though PET (patulous eustachian tube) is a dysfunction of the eustachian tube because it stays open more than it should, we don't usually call it ETD. It sounds like you suffer with PET. Does your voice echo in your head when you talk? It is treated in lots of different ways. An ENT will need to test your middle ear system and have a look up your nose to establish exactly what is going on. They will then suggest the best treatment. Try and find an ENT that specialises in eustachian tube dysfunction as they will hopefully treat ETD and PET.

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    • Posted

      Thanks, when you say voice echo i can hear my voice in my ears amplified, rather than hearing it from my mouth. I can also hear my heart beating when I lie down to go to sleep and a fair bit of crackling.

      Well the consultant didn't do anything other than an ear inspection using the normal otoscope. He suggested grommets which I initially agreed to but then changed my mind to get a second opinion. More waiting, but i felt it's better to get a second opinion and be sure rather than go through with something that may not be the right thing

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    • Posted

      Grommets can be used to help PET. Have you lost a lot of weight leading up to your amplified voice (autophony?) It sounds like you need to find an ENT who communicates more information. Make sure you get a second opinion from someone that treats PET. Not many ENTs do it well. What country and city do you live in?
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    • Posted

      No but I've always had issues with my ears. Every time I had a cold it would take q few weeks for my ears to return to normal, however last January I had a cold and it didn't go back to normal, hence going to a consultant. I'm based in the UK, any recommendations?

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  • Posted

    Your observations are quite keen...

    Our eustacion tubes are intended to open each time we swallow. This allows for an equilibrium of air pressure at the ear drum. The eustacion tube pressure equalization shunts you watched on utube are inserted to open the eustacion as opposed to occluding the eustacion.

    What you describe with your own ears is termed PATULOUS.

    An ENT, Ear Nose Throat physician will be able to help you out with a solution.

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    • Posted

      A eustachian tube that is too open so that sounds travel from the voice/breathing up the tube into the middle ear. Usually the eustachian tube keeps those sounds quiet by staying closed, but when it is open those sounds are loud/echoey.
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  • Posted

    Hi Rory,

    The ENT should be able to check for PET which does sound like the mostly likely match to your symptoms.  Another condition with similar symtpoms is called Superior Canal Dehiscence.  With this one, you can also hear your voice more loudly from inside instead of outside.  Also can hear heartbeat (like with your laying down comment).  It think this sounds more like PET but if you read up on Superior Canal Dehiscence and want more info just reply.  I have this condition and could answer any questions you might have.  

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