Eustation Tube won't close

  1. 14 years ago

    I had an ear infection a few years ago and since then I have been diagnosed with a eustation tube that does not close and that seems to be the opposite of all the ear problems that I have read about. Have you ever heard of this? My doctor has never seen it before. Feels like I'm breathing through my ear!

  2. Doc Kelley

    Aug 2006 Administrator

    Hello Raymond,

    When your Eustachian Tube remains open most of the time, it is called a Patulous Eustachian Tube. The following information is taken from a rather lengthy article entitled "Eustachian Tube Function and Dysfunction" by Ronald B. Kuppersmith, M.D. This article was published in July, 1996 and is posted on the Baylor College of Medicine web site. It should answer the majority of your questions.


    Patulous eustachian tubes often present a frustrating problem for patients and clinicians.The incidence is reported to be between 0.3-6.6% of the general population.

    Patients with patulous eustachian tubes complain of aural fullness, humming tinnitus, and autophony. They also may hear their own breath sounds, which is known as tympanophonia. The sound is synchronous with nasal respiration and resolves when the patient is supine or when upper respiratory tract inflammation occurs. The sounds may be aggravated by mastication.

    Symptoms are usually absent when the patient is supine or relieved when the patient bends forward with the head between the knees. For this reason, patients should not be examined in a supine position. Physical examination may reveal a tympanic membrane that moves during forced breathing through one nostril, and an amorphic sound may be heard using a diagnostic tube in the patient's ear.

    The eustachian tube is usually closed, and closure is maintained by the elasticity of its cartilage, mucosal lining, surrounding muscles and fat. Alteration of any of these anatomic components may cause patulous eustachian tubes.

    Conditions associated with patulous eustachian tubes include: radiation therapy, hormonal therapy, pregnancy, nasal decongestants, fatigue, stress, and weight loss.

    Patulous eustachian tubes in the most severe form may be patent at all times, whereas a less severe form has been reported, where the tube is anatomically closed at rest, but may open easily during exercises or in association with a decrease in peritubal extracellular fluid.

    Many patients can be treated with simple reassurance after a thorough history and physical examination. Treatment or removal of underlying factors may reverse the problem. Such as weight gain by patients who have lost weight.

    Many medical regimens have been described including agents which produce intraluminal and extraluminal swelling, including: insufflation of boric acid and salicylate powder as described by Bezold, application of nitric acid and phenol, oral administration of saturated solution of potassium iodide (10 drops in juice TID), premarin nasal spray (25 mg in 30 cc NS).

    New medications are currently under investigation including a herbal combination being evaluated in Japan, and a medication reported Dr. DiBartolomeo of Santa Barbara, California that is composed of chlorobutanol, benzyl alcohol, diluted hydrochloric acid, and propylene glycol. In the initial report, complete elimination of symptoms was reported by 8 of 10 patients. This formulation was derived from chlorinated pool water based on the observation that several patients had eustachian tube congestion proportional to the frequency of time they spent in a public pool. In letter to the editor in American Journal of Otology, Dr. DiBartolomeo indicated that the medication was held up with the FDA.

    In patients who do not improve with medical therapy and who want further treatment, several surgical interventions have been used including electrocauterization of the eustachian tube orifice, peritubal injection with gelfoam, paraffin, avitene, or teflon paste, transposition of the tensor veli palatini muscle medial to the pterygoid hamulus, myringotomy with ventilation tube placement, and insertion of an indwelling catheter and subsequent ventilation tube placement. Catheter placement is through either an anterior tympanomeatal flap or through a myringotomy.

    The close anatomic relationship of the eustachian tube and the carotid artery should be noted by clinicians who plan inject materials into the eustachian tube orifice, as injection of telfon paste into the carotid artery has been reported."

    Best of Health,

    Doc Kelley

  3. 13 years ago

    Hi i have symptoms that include hearing my own voice, feeling of fullness/pressure, hearing my own voice when i speak and its best when im lying down or bent over, which is strange. It feels like the eustation tube is open all the time and is worse when i yeawn, this makes the ear feel full. What treatment is best? What contacts? Is this serious?

  4. Doc Kelley

    Dec 2006 Administrator

    Hello Luke,

    Please review the numerous other links about the eustachian tube in this thread on this forum. You'll find some information that may be helpful to you. Mostly, you'll find eustachian tube problems are rather common and everyone seems to have different opinions about what works or not.

    More importantly, consider seeing an EENT specialist. A thorough examination by a qualified physician could uncover the cause of your problem and provide an effective resolution.

    Best of Health,

    Doc Kelley

  5. 12 years ago

    Hi guys, i'm not sure if this will help but I started having similar problems with the pressure in my ear and pain behind my ear down my neck. This problem started after I came off anti-depressants. The medicine did cause me to gain 30lbs, so weight could be a factor. However, one night I took 1 tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar and the next day the pain was gone. i now drink 2tbl spoons of ACV with 2tbl spoons of naturally raw honey in 8 oz. of water and the problem is soooo much better.

  6. Can weight loss trigger eustation tube dysfunction?

    I have been suffering with this for 8 weeks now.. I have lost 30 lbs. in the past 3 months. I feel like I am going crazy. This is miserable. The fullness and constantly hearing my own voice and breath is really getting to me. I saw a ENT today. He put me on nasal steriods. Any suggestions how to handle this.

    Thanks for your help

  7. Doc Kelley

    Dec 2007 Administrator

    Hello Lisa,

    I have never heard of weight loss triggering eustachian tube dysfunction. How did you lose your 30 lbs, in 3 months? Were you reducing calories, exercising, taking medication...?

    As you know, the nasal steroids are to help reduce inflammation and swelling. If this is the cause of your problem(s), you should notice significant relief within days to a week or two of taking your prescription.

    Please keep me posted on your progress. In the meantime, please review the many excellent suggestions within the threads on this forum about eustachian tube problems.

    Best of Health,

    Doc Kelley

  8. 11 years ago

    Can an open Eustation Tube be caused by flying on a plane? I was first told I ruptured my ear drum during flight. Now seven months later and a new set of tubes I'm being told have have abnormal open eustation tubes.What do you think?

  9. Doc Kelley

    Apr 2009 Administrator

    Hello Dee,

    Most of the time people have problems with blocked eustachian tubes.

    Abnormal open (patulous) eustachian tubes can cause a feeling of fullness in your ears, tinnitus (usually a humming sound) or hearing (uncomfortably) your own breathing or chewing.

    Some of the things recognized as being associated with this problem are: radiation therapy, hormonal therapy, pregnancy, using nasal decongestants regularly, fatigue, stress, and weight loss. I've never heard of flying on a plane as a cause of abnormal open eustachian tubes.

    There are quite a few different therapies including eliminating any of the above causative factors. Besides being sure to check with your Eye, Ear, Nose, Throat specialist, you might also consider seeing a Naturopathic Physician to explore alternative therapies.

    Best of Health,

    Doc Kelley

  10. 9 years ago


    My father has open eusstachian tube, his had it 25 yrs, his 56 now & as his getting older his finding it very hard to cope with, it never closes he has constant banging, crunching, popping every second in his right ear & not as bad in his left ear, his not coping at all with this & it's driving him crazy, I was wondering if there's anything that can be done for him, what treatments are available now, can you inject substances into the eustachian or is there any other surgery that can be done, we will travel anyway & pay whatever it costs for something to be done, we are desperate, please let me know what you can do for my father, thankyou.

  11. 3 years ago
    Deleted 2 years ago by Doc Kelley
  12. Deleted 2 years ago by Doc Kelley

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