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What is the cause and treatment for blocked eustachian tube?

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ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 2003
Answered : 709 Questions
Hi, I just experienced a cold, lasting about 3-4 days...lots of hard sneezing. It left me with miserable plugged up feeling in left ear along with increased tinnitus, same ear. Now, a day or two after cold has cleared up, profound overall left ear hearing loss. All sounds are extremely tinny, with some degree of echo, occasional dual tone effect, with very selective frequency range with sharp variations in amplitude even from two closely spaced frequencies. For example, there is a sharp amplitude change from 1700 to 1750 Hz. My history: Male, 62 years, excellent health, non smoker. Left ear was exposed to percussive loud noise (firecracker) about 30 years ago resulting in some hearing loss, especially higher frequencies. Right ear, no problems. I might add, I just started taking Luvox again for OCD issues. I recall that I tried this drug about 4 years ago, but discontinued it because I felt that it was a possible cause of sharp increase in tinnitus volume. Sure enough, tinnitus returned to manageable level about two weeks after discontinuation of this drug. Any ideas? Thanks,XXXXX
Posted Sat, 8 Mar 2014 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Rajkishori Godhi 42 minutes later
Brief Answer: eustachian catarrh Detailed Answer: Hi Mr XXXXXXX From your symptoms i feel that you have a blocked eustachian tube. The eustachian tube connects the back of the nose to the inside of the ear. It gets frequently blocked when there is a cold because of its proximity to the nose. This tube mainatains atmospheric pressure inside the ear. Blockage of this tube results in deafness, tinnitus, ear fullness and sometimes dizziness. I would start you on decongestant nose drops like otrivin. Decongestant drops open the tube. Instill 3 drops in each nostril 3 times daily for not more than 5 days and always follow it up with steam inhalation. For instructions on proper instillation please read the crimp. If the eustachian tube remains blocked for a prolonged period of time then ear infection can set in, please see an ENT to rule out infection. You can blow balloons and chew gum also to unblock the tube. If tinnitus persists even after the congestion comes under control then you have to be reevaluated for tinnitus Regards, Dr Rajkishori Godhi
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