Eustachian Tube Dysfunction, those are big words to describe something almost all of us have experienced. Have you ever flown in an airplane and needed to yawn really big to get your ears to pop? You have experienced Eustachian Tube Dysfunction or ETD. Have you had an earache because of fluid (or mucus) build up in the ear that didn’t drain properly? You have experienced Eustachian Tube Dysfunction.
What are Eustachian Tubes and causes them to malfunction?
Eustachian Tubes are the small tubes that go between the middle ear and upper throat. They open and close to drain fluid and equalize air pressure in the middle ear. Sometimes they can get clogged or blocked, resulting in an earache. The most common causes are allergies, sinus infections, and the common cold because these can increase mucus and the resulting congestion blocks the tubes. Altitude changes can cause blockages because the tubes need to open and close rapidly as they attempt to adjust the increases and decreases in pressure. Essentially, they get tired and need you to yawn or swallow to help them out. Obesity can cause fatty deposits to build up around them, constricting them and making blockages more common. Smoking can damage the cilia (protective hairs in the middle ear) which increases chances of mucus getting clogged.
Children are at the greatest risk because their eustachian tubes are small and straighter. People who participate in activities with air pressure changes can also be at greater risk for Eustachian Tube Dysfunction. This includes flying, driving over mountain passes, hiking up tall mountains, rock (or mountain) climbing, skiing or snowboarding, and scuba diving, to name a few.
What are the symptoms?
Your ears feel full or stuffed. It is harder to hear than normal and things sound kind of like you are underwater or have a pillow or blanket pulled over your head. You may experience ringing in the ears (tinnitus). It may tickle or itch inside your ears. You may have an earache, pain or tenderness around the ear, or dizziness.
How do you clear the blocks?
Usually the fix is easy: chew a piece of gum, yawn nice and big, have a drink of water. If your nose is stuffed up, you may want to try an antihistamine (allergy medicine) or a saline nasal spray. When a small child or baby is showing signs of an earache, give them a bottle or pacifier to suck and the swallowing action will often open the tubes.
If you are ill or your symptoms last more than two weeks, you may need to visit with a doctor. Children should see a doctor sooner as the symptoms are similar to an inner ear infection and children don’t always understand what their symptoms mean. If you experience chronic Eustachian Tube Dysfunction you may need to have a surgeon drain the ear or perhaps have pressure equalization tubes implanted.
How can the Rezzimax® help?
Why do we bring this up on the Rezzimax® site? Because the Rezzimax® Tuner Pro can help! Turn the Tuner to the highest comfortable setting (using the up buttons) and place the ends on the outside of your cheeks. Slowly open and close your mouth (or just yawn several times). This will help relieve the pain and hearing challenges. If you are experiencing dizziness it should turn that off as well. You will relax, too, which will assist in releasing the tubes and allowing them to open and clear. Do this daily for one to two minutes (no need to go overboard) and the Rezzimax® Tuner Pro will help your body reset the pressure in the inner ear. At the same time, it will help reboot the vagus nerve which supports the immune systems and tells the body to heal. It’s a win-win situation, give it a try!