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How is eustachian tube dysfunction treated ?

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ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 1991
Answered : 2543 Questions

I am 31 years old male. No medical history )other than usual colds/flu etc each winter). 100kg weight. 5ft 10 height.

I have had a persistent issue with one ear where it feels clogged and hearing seems muffled. Been doctor maybe 4 times in past 12 months and each time told to use ear drops for wax and/or get syringed

I have had 1 ear syringing session in past year and recently had 3 hopi ear candling sessions too (as believed it was excessive wax causing blockage)

I also fly frequently (long haul) and have maybe flown 50 flights in past 36 months

Recently (4 weeks ago) had a dizzy spell (one off and lasted maybe a few hours where I felt light headed after the dizzy spell - this was also at a time when I had a bad fever/flu like symptomes for a couple of days) so asked to get referred to a ENT Consultant. He checked and said he can see 'retraction' of ear drum but also sent me for an MRI. Result came in today from hospital (but not had a chance to discuss with consultant yet). Results say MRI normal other than 'mild inflammation change in right mastoid cell'

Please advise what this is and how it might be treated - I am very worried and can't see consultant for a few days

Many Thanks

Posted Sat, 21 Apr 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 1 hour later

Thank you for your query.

1. Have you recently undergone a PTA (Pure Tone Audiogram) and an Impedance Audiogram (I/A) [since there is eardrum retraction]? if yes, then what were the results? If not, kindly arrange to get these done and let me know the results.

2. This seems to be a case of mastoiditis is also a sign of this. There is also a positive history of discomfort during air travel where there are sudden changes in middle ear pressure during ascent and descent.

3. Cabin pressure in passenger aircraft is usually equal to an altitude of 6000 ft above sea level and not at sea level atmospheric pressure as widely believed.

4. Dizziness may arise due to pressure difference in the middle ear or following a cold / flu. This is difficult to differentiate from a single episode. You have had unsteadiness as compared to true vertigo (spinning) which is more common ear disease. Most major causes are ruled out with a normal MRI.

5. Do you have any history of headache or tinnitus (sounds in the ear) ?

6. To avoid frequent earwax buildup, do not use ear buds and regularly instill Mullein Ear Oil (Homeopathic medication)

7. You may start with regular steam inhalation through the nose and mouth. To suggest any further medication I will require your test results.

Awaiting your reply,


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