Q. Can a sinus x-ray show if your eustachian tube are closed or not?

Answered by
Dr. Bhadragiri Vageesh Padiyar
and medically reviewed by Dr. Sneha Kannan
This is a premium question & answer published on Jun 01, 2020 and last reviewed on: Apr 21, 2021

Hi doctor,

I have a couple of questions. I have sinus infections and nasal drip. My ears are clogged. I consulted a doctor. He told me that I have fluid and an ear infection and advised me to consult an ENT surgeon. He examined my ears and told me that I do not have any fluid. Why my ear looks clogged with pressure even after a month? I have septal deviation on my right side about 1 mm. Can a sinus X-ray show a eustachian tube?



Welcome to

Eustachian tube ventilates nose and ears. When it does not function, a negative pressure is developed inside the ears causing a feeling of vacuum, ringing sounds, or feeling of fluid in ears and sometimes decreased hearing. The common causes are allergy or sinusitis. It can block the tubes and so it causes its effects. A sinus X-ray cannot show eustachian tube. It gives information about the status of the sinus, septum, and other bony prominences. You need to do a nasal endoscopy to know the status of the nasal mucosa, sinus drainage pathway, details of the nasopharyngeal area and a tubal opening that is anatomically patent or not.

You can see any functional eustachian tube block by two methods. Having a look in the ear will definitely reveal a negative pressure and your eardrum will not appear normal. Impedance audiometry will show a C curve. It is one of the objective tests taken to confirm a patulous eustachian tube. You have mentioned about the confusion regarding fluid accumulation in the ears. In most cases, an ENT (ear, nose and throat) surgeon can see an accumulation of fluid inside the eardrum in cases of eustachian tube block. The impedance audiometry test will show a B curve while having fluid.

If your ears are still clogged, then you can follow this treatment. Use decongestant nasal drops containing Oxymetazoline or Xylometazoline three drops three times a day on both nostrils for a week. You can take a tablet containing Phenylephrine and Levocetirizine two times a day after food for a week. Do Valsalva exercise. Have a steam inhalation four to five times a day. Avoid taking cold, spicy, and oily foods. Follow a strict diet.

Do salt water gargling eight to ten times a day for a week. It helps to clear the mucus and discomfort present in the throat. Do not smoke and drink. It cuts down the mucociliary activity in the nose. Continue using nasal sprays. Use two puffs in each nostril two times a day for two weeks. Avoid getting exposed to irritants that trigger allergy or sinusitis. You can wear an N95 mask. It takes around 15 to 20 days to show results and it depends on the following precautionary advice.

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