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Echoing in Ears / Patulous Eustachian Tube

Patulous Eustachian Tube: Symptoms and Diagnosis

Patulous Eustachian Tube is a condition where the Eustachian tube remains open for too long and too often. This creates the unsettling feeling of pressure or hearing your own heartbeat and breathing in your ear. The condition is less common than typical Eustachian tube dysfunction, and diagnosis requires a detailed history and examination by an otologist.

What are the symptoms of a patulous Eustachian tube?

The Eustachian tube connects the ear to the back of the nose. When the tube is too open, it makes it easier for air to flow between the nose and the ear. This can cause very irritating effects, including hearing yourself breathe, and hearing your own voice echo when you speak.

What are some tests used to diagnose a patulous Eustachian tube?

  • Tympanogram
  • Nasal endoscopy
  • CT scan

What are the causes of patulous Eustachian tube?

Some patients simply have a naturally patulous Eustachian tube. However, sometimes the Eustachian tube becomes patulous after significant weight loss, pregnancy, or after starting certain medications that decrease your water weight (i.e., diuretics).

What are the medical treatments for patuolous Eustachian tubes?

  • Avoid diuretics
  • Avoid caffeinated drinks
  • Nasal sprays

Are there any surgical treatments?

If medical treatment is not successful in improving the symptoms of the patulous Eustachian tube, several procedures are available. These procedures are tailored to the patient’s specific anatomy and symptoms.

Options include:

  • Myringotomy tubes
  • Injection into the Eustachian tube
  • Chemical treatment of the Eustachian tubes
  • Endoscopic stent placement


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