Ever got off a plane with intense pain, or drive down a mountain and lost the ability to hear clearly?
Ever wonder why that happens, and what to do about it?
If you’re having trouble with your equilibrium, you may be experiencing a blocked eustachian tube.
These tubes are tiny and are positioned between the middle ear and top of the throat.
Causes of Blockage
Eustachian tubes balance the pressure in your ears by draining fluid. Most of the time, the tubes are closed, but open when you yawn, chew or swallow.
According to Troy Howard, “The Eustachian tube can be blocked, or obstructed, for a variety of reasons. When that occurs, the middle ear pressure cannot be equalized. The air already there is absorbed and a vacuum occurs, sucking the eardrum inward and stretching it. Such an eardrum cannot vibrate naturally, so sounds are muffled or blocked, and the stretching can be painful.”
When there is a blockage in the tubes, it can be excruciating, and you may experience difficulty hearing. This condition is commonly known as ETD or eustachian tube dysfunction. Allergies and the common cold can also lead to ETD.
ETD is pretty common and will often solve itself, but there are also some practical at-home tips you can try. When you change altitudes after hiking, mountain climbing or getting on a plane, you could experience ETD. If you experience ETD very often, it may be best to consult your physician.
The right treatment for ETD will depend on how long the condition lasts and how severest is.
Everyday health claims that a saline spray can help to get rid of the pressure in the ears, and there are also some over-the-counter medications that can eliminate ETD due to allergies.
Other home remedies include swallowing or drinking water, chewing gum or yawning.
You can even try breathing out with your mouth and nostrils closed to release the pressure in the eustachian tubes – although this method will temporarily increase pain.
Other natural treatments include apple cider vinegar. You can drink a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water to prevent and treat blockage. This is especially helpful for reliving ETD from allergies. Oil pulling can also be helpful in treating a blocked eustachian tube.
This process can help to relieve inflammation and ear infections. Combine about 3 teaspoons of sesame oil or virgin coconut oil. Swish the oil around in your mouth for up to 20 minutes either once or twice each day. Remember not to swallow the oil and to spit it in the trash and not the sink so that the oil won’t clog the drain.
Garlic oil is another natural remedy for ETD. The oil that is extracted from garlic will both reduce inflammation and rid the body of infections.
You can use a droplet to put a small amount of the oil inside of the ears, or massage the back of the ear with garlic oil.
Remember to report the symptoms of ETD to your doctor if they persist, and use these home remedies as often as possible to ensure that your eustachian tube is working properly.