Chronic eustachian tube dysfunction is the condition where the eustachian tubes are in a seemingly endless state of being blocked. They may be closed for months on end, leading to long-term symptoms of inner-ear pain and hearing difficulty. Chronic ETD is unlikely to go away on its own and must be treated by a healthcare professional.
Allergies, illnesses and infections that cause inflammation may lead to ETD. Certain lifestyle factors put one at a higher risk for developing this condition. Smoking damages the inner ear, leaving it susceptible to problems like ETD. People who are obese are also more likely to have chronic ETD due to fatty tissue deposits forming around the eustachian tubes, leading to blockages.
Children are at a higher risk for developing ETD since their eustachian tubes are smaller and more likely to become clogged. Children’s immune systems are not fully developed, meaning they are more likely to have colds and ear infections leading to ETD.
- Feeling of fullness in the ears
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Muffled hearing
- Popping and crackling sounds in ear
- Inner-ear pain
- Issues with balance
Chronic ETD can be treated with Eustachian Tube Balloon Dilation.