AIR BUBBLES IN MY EAR: EUSTACHIAN TUBE DYSFUNCTION
Ever been on your own while going about your daily life and without any cause you begin to feel a slight discomfort in your ear as though there are air bubbles in there that need to pop out or something?
Especially when you make a certain movement like swallowing or yawning, in a car moving so fast, or during an aeroplane flight.
It might not necessarily be painful but can be uncomfortable. You just keep hearing a certain puzzle but every time you check its as though there isn’t really anything there or nothing is coming out.
Are there really bubbles in my ear or is it something else? What exactly is this?
If this is what you are saying to yourself then I hear you cause I have pretty much been there myself
And what did I do?
So after doing my own personal research and meeting with a medical practitioner, it came down to the same thing, and what’s that?
‘Eustachian Tube Dysfunction‘
Yes, you most probably have what’s known as eustachian tube dysfunction.
EUSTACHIAN TUBE DYSFUNCTION
It is the term used to describe a blockage over the tube that connects the ear with the back of the nose.
The eustachian tubes run from the back of the nose to the middle of the ears and help regulate pressure inside the ear.
Your eardrum can still look perfectly normal when the eustachian tube is momentarily blocked.
And this blockage(Eustachian tube blockage) is one of the causes of ear barotrauma.
ETD could also occur when the mucosal lining of the tube is swollen, or does not open or close properly.
Cause of Eustachian Tube Dysfunction
The most common cause of Eustachian tube dysfunction is when the tube gets inflamed and mucus or fluid builds up.
This can be caused by a cold, the flu, a sinus infection, or allergies. Some people are at greater risk for Eustachian tube dysfunction.
Symptoms of Eustachian Tube Dysfunction
When the Eustachian tube becomes clogged you often experience the following;
- Pressure or fullness in the ears.
- feeling like your ear is “plugged”.
- Muffed or dulled hearing.
- tinnitus (ringing in the ear).
- Popping sounds.
- itchy or ticklish feelings in the ears.
Treatment of Eustachian Tube Dysfunction
Eustachian Tube Dysfunction is a relatively common condition which often gets better on its own depending on the cause.
Normally if there aren’t any underlying issues then your problem will usually clear up when the mucus does.
But generally, treatment depends on the severity and cause of the condition like I mentioned earlier
So it may resolve on its own or through simple at-home treatment measures and over-the-counter (OTC) medications.
Symptoms can last one to two weeks. If you’re still having symptoms after two weeks, or they’re getting worse, you may need more aggressive treatment. So you may require a visit to the doctor for prescriptions.
And if it doesn’t resolve, I suggest you ask your doctor to refer you to an ear, nose and throat physician so you can have the back of your nose examined.
Home remedies of Eustachian Tube Dysfunction
Minor symptoms may be resolved with home remedies, especially if they aren’t caused by an underlying illness.
To relieve ear pain or discomfort, you can take steps to open the Eustachian tube and relieve the pressure with a simple exercise, such as:
Inhale, and then gently exhale while holding the nostrils closed and the mouth shut (you breathe out as though you want to blow your nose).
You would hear a popping noise. That noise you hear is the sound of air popping through a bubble of mucus or swollen tissue.
Other methods you could also use to get rid of the bubbles in your ear include:
- Chew gum.
- Suck on candy.
- Sipping water
- using a saline nasal spray to help clean out passageways
To resolve minor ETD symptoms in babies, give your baby a bottle or pacifier to suck
Over-the-counter remedies for Eustachian Tube Dysfunction
If allergies are causing eustachian tube discomfort, you may consider over-the-counter allergy medications.
Antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) or cetirizine (Zyrtec, Aller-Tec, Alleroff) can reduce allergy symptoms and related ear problems.
OTC pain relievers, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) can alleviate pain in your ears. Make sure to read the dosage instructions carefully.
Mame sure you ask your doctor before using these medications to see if they interact with other drugs you might be taking.
Conventional Remedy methods for Eustachian Tube Dysfunction
If it is an infection, your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic.
This can come in the form of ear drops, oral tablets, or both.
Oral corticosteroids may be used in cases of severe inflammation.
Severe cases of ETD may require more invasive treatments.
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