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Eustachian tube patency

 

Eustachian tube patency refers to how much the eustachian tube is open. The eustachian tube runs between the middle ear and the throat. It controls the pressure behind the eardrum and middle ear space. This helps keep the middle ear free of fluid.

The eustachian tube is normally open, or patent. However, some conditions can increase pressure in the ear such as:

  • Ear infections
  • Upper respiratory infections
  • Altitude changes
These can cause the eustachian tube to become blocked.

 

References

Kerschner JE, Preciado D. Otitis media. In: Kliegman RM, Stanton BF, St. Geme JW, Schor NF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 20th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 640.

O'Reilly RC, Levi J. Anatomy and physiology of the eustachian tube. In: Flint PW, Haughey BH, Lund V, et al, eds. Cummings Otolaryngology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 131.

 
  • Ear anatomy

    Ear anatomy - illustration

    The ear consists of external, middle, and inner structures. The eardrum and the 3 tiny bones conduct sound from the eardrum to the cochlea.

    Ear anatomy

    illustration

  • Eustachian tube anatomy

    Eustachian tube anatomy - illustration

    The eustachian tube is the tube that runs between the middle ear and pharynx and regulates the ear pressure around the ear drum.

    Eustachian tube anatomy

    illustration

    • Ear anatomy

      Ear anatomy - illustration

      The ear consists of external, middle, and inner structures. The eardrum and the 3 tiny bones conduct sound from the eardrum to the cochlea.

      Ear anatomy

      illustration

    • Eustachian tube anatomy

      Eustachian tube anatomy - illustration

      The eustachian tube is the tube that runs between the middle ear and pharynx and regulates the ear pressure around the ear drum.

      Eustachian tube anatomy

      illustration

    A Closer Look

     

      Talking to your MD

       

        Self Care

         

          Tests for Eustachian tube patency

           

             

            Review Date: 8/31/2016

            Reviewed By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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