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Q. How can I manage a eustachian tube dysfunction?

Answered by
Dr. Akshay B K
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on May 10, 2022

Hello doctor,

I am a female who lives in a cold country. For the past week, I have had blocked ears. It all started last Saturday when suddenly the right ear became blocked, and I tried all methods it did not work and the next onwards the left ear also blocked. Sometimes I feel when I inhale, the right ear pops and again blocks back. The left ear is not like that. But I hear crackling sounds and air sounds inside. Yesterday I went to an ENT doctor, and he checked via nasal camera and told me the back of the nose was fine. I have ETD and suggested nasal decongestant Sudafed and Ibuprofen. I am taking four tables one day. Still, it’s the same. I am very much scared, doctor. I did not have any cold or anything before that. I had gone to a local park the day before all this started, and it was very cold that day and I did not cover my head properly. Could this be the reason? I also have a TMJ problem every morning, and I wake up with my teeth as though they have worked all night. Also, I have neck and shoulder tightness. Can you please help me?

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#

Hello,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

I can understand your concern. Did your ENT (ear, nose, and throat) doctor say whether your eardrums were normal or congested? Was there any perforation? Do you have ear pain also, or do you just have a blocking sensation? What you are experiencing is eustachian tube dysfunction only. It would have happened due to exposure to cold. Did you recently have a history of swimming in a pool or something?

Hi doctor,

Thank you for the reply. I do not swim. One day before this could happen, I had gone for a walk in a park. It was very cold with chill winds, and I did not cover my head properly. I wore the hoodie alone and not any cap. Could this be the reason? The doctor said he could not see any fluid build-up behind the ear and the eardrum looks fine. I have this pressure pain when you get when you fly and go to the hill station right. I also have a pulling and tight sensation along my jawline and behind cervical muscles.

#

Hello,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

I understand your concern, and you do not have to worry. The pressure that you told you experience while flying is called otitic barotrauma. It happens due to pressure changes in your middle ear when you fly, which is usually balanced by a properly functioning eustachian tube. I am sure you have eustachian tube dysfunction, and I will tell you some simple procedures that will give you relief.

1. There is something known as the Valsalva maneuver (read more about it online), do it 15 to 20 times a day. It will help your eustachian tube function properly

2. Xylometazoline nasal drops three drops thrice a day for both nostrils.

3. Simple steam inhalation daily at least twice

4. Take tablet Sudafed (Pseudoephedrine), tablet Montelukast plus tablet levocetirizine once at night for seven days.

5. Avoid bananas, cold foods, and citrus fruits for some time.

6. For your cervical spasm, a pain killer gel application would suffice.

Do you have any further queries which I can help you with? Leave positive feedback if you are happy.

Hi doctor,

Thank you for the reply. Can you suggest some tablets available over the counter in my country? Also, this problem has been there for one week. When can I expect this to cure? I am scared of surgery.

#

Hello,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

I do not know the brand names of drugs available in your country. That is why I am telling the drug's generic name: Tablet Montelukast with Levocetirizine. This condition takes time to heal, maybe one week to 15 days. Do not worry. You will not need any surgery. Do the things I have said meticulously, including the exercises, and see the results. Steam inhalation and nasal drops are important, so do not skip them.

Hi doctor,

Thank you for the reply. I do not have a stuffy nose. Just the stuffy ears. So should I still take steam inhalation?

#

Hello,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Yes, steam improves your eustachian tube dysfunction by decongesting the eustachian tube opening. Eustachian tube has two openings, one in the middle ear and one in the nose. So taking care of your nose is as important as your ears.

Hello doctor,

Thank you for the reply. I am now starting to have some sort of high-pitched sound from my right ear. But I can hear as of now. Also, will Ofloxin ear drops work? I have some of that with me now.

#

Hello,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

All the sounds are because of your eustachian tube dysfunction. And ear drops (Oflox is an antibiotic) will be used only if there is a middle ear tympanic membrane infection or perforation. So no ear drops would be of no use in your case.

Hello doctor,

Thank you for the reply. I am sorry, I just checked. I would not get both the tablets without a doctor's prescription, and the doctor should be registered in my country. What do I do now? Can I continue with Sudafed? Will it work? I can arrange the cetirizine tablet alone. But not the other tablet, as they say, it needs a doctor's prescription. Also, I forgot to tell you that I have Beconase nasal spray, which is used for hay fever allergy here. It has beclometasone diapropionate 50 micrograms.

#

Hello,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Fine. Continue Sudafed and Levocetirizine also. And the steroid nasal spray would be of some use, but a simple nasal spray like Otrivin, which is available over the counter, would do a much better job as it is a nasal decongestant.

How many days can I take this cetrizine and I got 10 mg with me . Can I take that along with Sudafed 60 mg . He many times a day doctor . Also since yesterday evening I am feeling like i am hearing some sound only in the right ear . I am so scared doctor . Also wanted to ask you about the Eustachian tube dilation and how effective it will be
# take cetrizine one in the night after food
it can be taken with sudafed

the hearing sensation or poping sounds , all those are because of eustachian tube dialatation

please donot be scared u will be alright follow all the instructions as i have told

eustachian tube dialatation is not so frequently perfomed here it doesn't show much effectiveness we in india usually go for a grommet tube insertion to the ear drum..
in ur case i dont think so all these are necessary..
so be positive things will get better

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