Otolaryngologists at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) provide comprehensive and innovative medical and surgical services for patients with eustachian tube disorders.
The eustachian tube is a small canal that connects the middle ear to the back of the nose and upper throat. It serves as a mechanism to equalize air pressure in the middle ear with outside pressure. Eustachian tube dysfunction (ETD) occurs when the tube fails to open (stuck closed) during swallowing or yawning resulting in a difference between the air pressure inside and outside the middle ear. This condition, mostly commonly seen in young children, can cause ear pain and sometimes difficulty hearing.
Causes of Eustachian Tube Dysfunction
Symptoms of Eustachian Tube Dysfunction
Medical Treatment for Eustachian Tube Dysfunction
If medical treatment fails or symptoms recur, surgery of the eustachian tube may be indicated.
Learn more about ear tube insertions.
Read more about tympanostomy (ear tube) procedure.
Patulous or patent eustachian tube dysfunction occurs when the tube fails to close and remains open (stuck open or patulous). The open eustachian tube allows sounds to be transmitted directly to the middle ear, for example, patients experience autophony (the hearing of self-generated sounds including one’s own breathing, voice, or heartbeat).
Causes of Patulous Eustachian
Symptoms of Patulous Eustachian Tube
Treatment for Patulous Eustachian Tube
You will receive a thorough diagnostic examination to evaluate if you have eustachian tube dysfunction and determine what course of treatment is needed. Careful monitoring and the involvement of an experienced otolaryngologist are important to the successful outcome for patients with ear, nose and throat disorders and conditions.
If you are having surgery or a procedure, you will likely be scheduled for a visit to the Weiner Center for Preoperative Evaluation for pre-operative information and tests.
The day of surgery, you will be taken care of in the operating room by otolaryngologist, anesthesiologists and nurses who specialize in surgery for patients with eustachian tube dysfunction. After surgery, you will go to the post-surgical care unit where you will receive comprehensive care by experienced surgical and nursing staff.
Learn more about your hospital stay, patient-centered care and returning home.
Brigham and Women’s Hospital provides a multidisciplinary approach to patient care by collaborating with colleagues who have extensive experience in diagnosing and treating ear, nose and throat disorders and conditions. In addition, patients have full access to BWH’s world-renowned academic medical community, with its diverse specialists, and state-of-the-art facilities.
Learn more about disorders of the ear, nose and throat in our health library.
Visit the Kessler Health Education Library in the Bretholtz Center to access computers and knowledgeable staff.
Access a complete directory of patient and family services.
For over a century, a leader in patient care, medical education and research, with expertise in virtually every specialty of medicine and surgery.