Eustacian Tube Dysfunction

ETD isa common is condition reported by patients. It is a disorder of the
Eustcian tube, due to unequal pressure on both sides of the eardrum. Ifa
patient presents with a Eustacian tube dysfunction, the Eustacian tube, can
either be too open or partially or completely blocked.

Patients usually report blocked ears, hearing loss, tinnitus, pain, speech
echo, hearing your own breathing and inability to equalize pressure when
flying or travelling down a hill. These patients may or may not present with
middle ear infection. Often treating the middle ear infection alone, is not
enough to relieve the symptoms.

To accurately diagnose Eustacian tube dysfunction, a good case history, a
diagnostic evaluation of the ear and Eustacian tube function tests are
necessary. An audiogram is necessary to exclude sensorineural hearing loss
(SNHL). Hearing loss is often reported as blocked ears, so excluding SNHL is

A tympanogram will evaluate the status of the middle ears and report on
the possibility of middle ear pathology or fluid behind the tympanic
membranes. A diagnostic hearing test and audiogram alone cannot
diagnose Eustacian tube dysfunction. If SNHL and middle ear pathology
have been excluded, a Eustacian tube function test, will be the next option.

Eustacian tube function tests, involves testing the function of the Eustacian
tube during different activities. The procedure involves a middle ear
pressure measurement with swallowing, and valsalva. A swallow and
valsalva should alter the pressure in the middle ear. These pressure
changes are measured and reported. The test is a reliable objective
measurement tool of Eustacian tube dysfunction to accurately guide
treatment process.

Mandy S Pillay

|Suite 53, Life The Crompton Hospital
Suite 10, Busamed Hillcrest Private Hospital

Central Bookings: 031 701 8429