blocked eustation tubes

  1. 16 years ago

    might not be spelt correctly.

    Doctor tells me they are blocked. I have a heavy

    feeling in the ears and dry eyes etc., does anyone know of a natural remedy for this? GP says it's very hard to clear this sort of thing.

  2. Doc Kelley

    Mar 2004 Administrator


    Your GP is correct. Clearing blocked eustation tubes can be extremely difficult. One or more of the following suggestions, however, could be just what you need.

    1. Find a good chiropractor. It is not unusual to have eustation tubes open after correction of subluxations in the cervical spine (neck). The best way to find a good chiropractor is to call a list of massage therapists from your local yellow pages. When you start hearing the same name being recommended more than a few times, you know you have a good one.

    2. Locate a craniosacral therapist trained in the Upledger method. It is not at all unusual for manipulation of the bones of your skull to open blocked eustation tubes. You can search for the keyword upledger on the Internet and locate the national office/school in Florida. They can provide the name and number of a craniosacral therapist near you.

    3. Call 800-614-4400 and ask for the name and number of an Enzyme Therapy Associate close to you. These professionals can help you deternine if your problem is related to diet, digestion, or other problems commonly associated with blockages in the ears. This could be your best bet since many of these therapists are licensed chiropractors as well. Also, with the other symptoms you mentioned, nutritional areas should definitely be explored.

    Best of Health,

    Doc Kelley

  3. Wish I had an answer. The doctor is thinking that maybe my eustation tubes are blocked also. I have very poor hearing to begin with and a few days ago I woke up with a fullness in my head and ears. Feels like my entire head is stuffed with cotton. My hearing is horrible now. Had a cold in Jan and Feb and we were recently in the mountains-don't know if and what actually brought on the problem but it is about to drive me crazy. This heaviness and clogged up feeling is just awful. Please email me at if you have any suggestions. I am desperate for help. My doctor put me on a steroid yesterday hoping that might help. So far, I haven't noticed a change.

  4. Doc Kelley

    Mar 2004 Administrator

    Hello Jo Ann,

    See the reply posted 3-15

  5. doc gave me a script for rhinocort (cortisone stuff) but i havent yet filled the script. Costs $45.!!!

  6. Doc Kelley

    Mar 2004 Administrator

    Hello me,

    You need to review the response under this string dated 3/15. Then, follow your doctor's instructions AND/OR do whatever else you decide is best for you.

    Ultimately, only you can choose what you must do to improve and maintain your health.

    Best of Health,

    Doc Kelley

  7. I am suffering from the same thing. This has happened to me once before and seems to be allergy related. I've been doing Flonase, Meclazine, (sea sickness pills) and pinching my nose shut and blowing to force air into the eustation tube.(a specialist told me to do this.) I am also on Clariton. If you get Meclazine, get it from a pharmasist at K-Mart or Target, it's much less expensive than buying a package of Bonine. While sitting in a chair, try tipping your head down towards the floor, sideways. Sounds crazy, but my ear clears up when I'm in that position. Any relief for any amount of time from this miserable, stuffy pressure in my ear is welcome. Good luck...

  8. Doc Kelley

    May 2004 Administrator

    Hello irbgirl,

    The positioning of your head while sitting in a chair is a worthwhile suggestion if it results in any relief.

    Pinching your nose and blowing to force air into your eustachian tube may not be a safe recommendation for everyone. If done gently enough to avoid any potential worsening of the original condition, fine.

    Prescriptive medications for allergies have a substantial list of side effects and contra-indications. There are very effective, non-prescriptive herbal and enzyme formulas for allergies available. These can be explored with many natural health care practitioners, especially homeopathic and nutritionally oriented chiropractic physicians.

    You may also wish to try an herbal/enzyme formula available in many health food stores. It is produced by PureEssence Labs. Their toll free number is 888-254-8000. Their web site is

    Best of Health,

    Doc Kelley

  9. What are the symptoms of a blocked eustation tube?

  10. Doc Kelley

    Jul 2004 Administrator

    Hello Mrs. Turner,

    The eustachian tube is a connection between your middle ear and your nasopharynx (nose). This tube allows gas (air) to move between these two areas to equalize pressure as you go up and down (change altitude), such as in airplanes or while diving in the ocean. If this becomes a problem while flying, chewing gum or repeated swallowing can often relieve the pressure. Divers are taught to hold their noses and blow gently to relieve pressure as they descend.

    Some people have more trouble with pressure changes than others. This may be due to having a more narrow eustachian tube. People with sinus infections, colds, and/or allergies may have more difficulty equalizing pressure and probably should avoid flying or diving during those times.

    If your eustachian tube is blocked, the pressure in your middle ear can become different than the pressure outside. This can result in a sense or feeling of pressure in your ear or head. If the difference in pressure becomes too much, the tissues in your middle ear can bleed and your eardrum could rupture.

    Simply stated, symptoms of a blocked eustachian tube may include feelings of pressure progressing to intense pain, headaches, and even some hearing loss. The reason(s) for a blocked eustachian tube need to be determined and corrected to avoid rupture of the eardrum.

    Best of Health,

    Doc Kelley

  11. Hi Doc Kelley,

    I have had blocked eustation tubes for about five years now and before that i had problems with my ears since i was 3. I am now 21 and have had 2 sets of grommits and 1 set of t-tubes put in.

    My t-tubes were put in a year ago this month and they are both pretty much well iut.

    I am writing to ask if there is anything else that can be done as this seriously effects my life, especially my work.

    Can you help me?


  12. Doc Kelley

    Jul 2004 Administrator

    Hello Selina,

    With the amount of trouble you have had with your ears throughout the years, I would suspect that you have anatomically smaller eustachian tubes. If that is the case, it will be a regular source of potential difficulty.

    Avoiding things that cause inflammation, swelling, and congestion would certainly help to keep re-occurences to a minimum. There are several sections on my web site ( ) that may help you make better dietary choices. Enter search words such as inflammation, diet, etc.

    Also, it would be very helpful for you to consider enzyme therapy to help with digestion and inflammation. To find the name and number of an Enzyme Therapy Associate close to you, call 800-614-4400.

    And, there is an extremely good enzyme/herbal formula that you can find at most good health food stores that works extremely well for airborne allergens. It is called AllerFree and is made by PureEssence Labs. If you cannot find it at a health food store, call their office at 888-254-8000 and ask how you could purchase it. This product works to open clogged sinus passages and may help keep your eustachian tube clearer.

    Best of Health,

    Doc Kelley

  13. 15 years ago

    My left ear got plugged about a month ago. I've been to one ENT who cleared wax out and related that there were two hairs pressing against the ear drum. He gave me ENTEX (a new decongestant) to take twice a day. My internist gave me a nasal inhalent to use just before bedtime, and believe me, whenever you squirt yourself, you WILL fall asleep no matter what time of day! (I forget the name of the stuff; just call it Mickey Flynn)

    Then today I visited another ENT who sent me off for an audiology test. This showed significant hearing loss in BOTH ears above a fairly high frequency, but the left ear had a severe dropoff in response in lower to mid-range tones, which would result in difficulty in understanding speech, mostly in women's voice ranges. There didn't seem to be any hope offered by either the ENT or audiologist that my hearing could be restored.

    Quick history: at age 8 or so, I had the ear drum in one ear - I forget which - lanced by what was then called an EENT. I had suffered many infections in the inner ear, and that was how they treated it back then, in the age before tubes.

    I do fly a lot, but the key thing to know is: I am also a musician, and hearing loss almost panics me.

    I saw a question from someone about accupuncture, which was recommended by a friend. Another said she uses warm oil drops. Anyone have a suggestion? Thanks for any advice.

    I am still in shock from the test!


  14. I also have problems similar to yours. Two or three years ago I felt pressure in my right ear and got cracking noises in this one ear as the pressure equalises, such as when I swallowed or went up a hill in a car.

    The pressure has now more or less gone but the ear is sensitive to noise (load music, prolonged engine noise etc) and after a period of noise that most 'normal' people can tolerate I get tinnatus in this one ear. The hearing in this one ear is poor at the higher pitch and I find it difficult to follow conversation.

    If I hold my nose and blow this one bad ear 'cracks' whilst the other clears smoothly. I am convinced that a defective eustation tube and or an inner coating of mucus (in the middle ear) is the cause of the hearing loss.

    It must be inherited because my Father now in his 80's was diagnosed partially deaf and he was given hearing aids by the specialists. His eustation tubes cleared the mucus on their own and now he can hear perfectly well.

    Now I am waiting for my ear to clear and hopefully to be able to hear well again. Meanwhile the ear continues to be sensitive to load noice resulting in tinnatus. There must be a way of clearing this 'mucus' out of my middle ear. I am 100% sure that fluid/mucus in the middle ear is the cause of the problem. The specialists just put it down to natural hearing loss possibly brought about by exposure to loud noise in the past. They say that there is nothing that can be done and that I will have to live with it.

    I am sure that there is a coating in my middle ear and it may not be fluid enough to drain away. This coating in some way magnifies higher levels of sound, leading to tinnatus and reduced ability to hear the full range of sounds. I would welcome any comments and suggested cures esp from specialists in the field. Thanks.

  15. Since I wrote the first time, my situation has not improved. Last night, I attended a concert of very loud music, and had to cover both ears to avoid pain. I am also experiencing different pitches in the two ears, especially in the frequencies where women talk and giggle; when they do that (and near my desk in my office, there seems to be a lot of it), I hear a double sound, muffled, lower in pitch, that somewhat resembles an echo.

    As a musician, I am desperate for an answer. Both ENTs I have gone to, plus the audiologist, inspected my middle ear and said it looked healthy, with no inflammation to indicate infection, no wax buildup, and totally normal appearance. The problem has to be within the eustation canal of my left ear. It simply won't clear, even when it feels like it wants to (I fly a lot, but that is NOT the cause of the blockage).

    I have emailed the House Ear Institute in Los Angeles for an evaluation and second opinion (that nothing can be done). Wish me good luck!

  16. Your symptoms sound to be similar to mine. Did the audiologist inspect your middle ear or was it your outer ear? The middle ear in behind your ear drum and can not be seen from the outside.

    Apart from normal hearing tests, they can do a pressure tests (on the outside of the ear drum) to see if the eustation tube is blocked but can they test for mucus coating (rather than a general blockage) on the inner side of the ear drum and possibly also on the minute bones of the ear that transfer the vibrations from the middle ear to the inner ear?

    I am convinced that in my case there is a sticky coating (rather than a general blockage) that is interfereing with the sound transfer. As it is not a general blockage it is not picked up by the pressure test. At the very early stages it was a general blockage. I could feel the pressure in the one ear but when that cleared on its own I was left with the hearing problem in the one ear.

    When you hold your nose and blow do you hear a cracking sound, a bit like pulling sticky tape off its spool? My bad ear is like this and my good ear is clear. In my good ear I just get a sound of air movement without the cracking noise. This is why I am convinced that there is a sticky coating that is creating sensitivity to sound as well as sound distortion. Good luck with your tests. Please let me know your thoughts and what the specialist think about my theory.

  17. Thanks for that.

    The audiologist stuck a video probe down both ears, so that the drum was clearly visible, which showed no inflammation or visual damage on either side (we both watched a monitor while she did this).

    If she inspected the inner ear, what would she have done to do that? I don't believe she did.

    I have a life-long dislike of clearing my ears by holding my nose and blowing, since that caused many problems of inner ear infections in my childhood, resulting in having to have my right (good) lanced once (yes, they did that in the 1950s in the days before tubes, which I never had).

    Having just held my nose and blowing, however, I can report a sort of faint crackling sound in the bad ear. And having done so, I feel more pressure, not less.

    As for a pressure test, I see on the audiologist's report something called Impedance Measurement Tympanogram, with air pressure ranges drawn on a graph without commentary, so I don't know what she found in that regard.

    She adds the following, however: "Small air/bone gaps 250-500 Hz" (in the affected ear). I don't know if that is related, but there it is.

    Your "stickiness" theory may well be what ails me, too. Anyone mention a cure for that to you?

    I will report back after I visit the House Ear Institute sometime in January.

    Thanks so much for your good help and suggestions. It's good to know there might be someone else traveling the same path to solving the problem.

  18. You cannot inspect the middle or inner ear by looking down the ear hole, so I assume they can only guess what is happening inside the ear.

    The pressure test gives an indication of how the eustation tube is working but I assume that it will not find a film or mucus covering on the inside of the ear drum or elsewhere within the middle ear. I am sure that such a sticky film or coating is causing my problem. If you are getting a similar cracking noise then it could be the cause of your problem too.

    The trouble is that the doctors / specialists do not seem willing or able to discuss this theory. They just put it down to hearing damage. What spurs me on is that my Father was cured naturally. From missing almost every word and having a hearing aid prescribed it got better on its own. No pills no operation and he can hear perfectly well now.

    My ear specialist actually recommended holding nose and blowing to clear the tube. I do this gently when I feel the need but always get the same cracking noise in my bad ear and nothing improves. Prolonged / high levels of sound always makes my hearing worse. Now I often wear an ear plug in my bad ear to protect it.

    I had a swim plug made that is molded to the shape of my ear hole. Just the thing for a long trip on my motorbike or going out where there is a loud band playing.

  19. Interesting!

    I am a part time music reviewer, and night before last attended a very LOUD concert of Latino Christmas music. It was excruciating at times, and I held my ears shut for some of it. I don't know why people subject themselves to such outrageous noise, but over a thousand did that night, including the conductor, who is a personal friend. I will be sending him a email asking if he wore ear plugs to protect his hearing. If not, I am going to give him "what for" for being so careless and assuming his hearing will last forever (OK, so he's an Immortal like we probably once were).

    I just purchased a set of Sennheiser headphones that will be useful in blocking jet engine noises when I fly, which is about every other weekend. I also tried them listening to the television, and they block out low, rumbly noises. (The Sennheiser technology is the same as Bose, but half the price and bulkiness.) It may have good application for me in the workplace, and come Monday, I will give them a try at work to see if some of the giggling racket by the women near my desk is also attenuated.

    Do you think that inhaling the steam of hot tea, or some other form of getting heat into the eustation canals via the oral cavity would be helpful? Do you have any knowledge of how your father got cured? Of course, if you did, you would have done it already!

    Please stay in touch. This is interesting.


  20. Try the herb Mullein either in capsule form or ear drops.

    I found that it works to clear mucuous congestion and blocked estation tubes within 24-48 hours. I am 68 and thought I was losing my hearing due to old age. After 2 days of using Mullein my hearing has improved greatly.

    The capsules are 290mg and it recommends 2 at meal time. There are no listed side effects in the Herbal PDR.

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