What is the Eustachian tube ?They are two small tubular cavities that connect the middle ear to the back of the nose and upper throat .
What is its function?It is the natural gateway of the outside air into the middle ear .
- Iso pressure Function: is to aerate the middle ear and to balance the pressure changes that occur in it.
- Draining Function: this is the natural drainage of secretions generated in the middle ear
- Antireflux Function: the tube must prevent the flow of secretions, sometimes infected, from the nasopharynx to the middle ear.
What if it does not perform its function properly?If your pressure does not function well, there may be a plugging feeling, like that of being inside a bucket or cave. It is clearly noticeable with sudden changes in altitude, for instance, when flying.
On the other hand, Drainage and antireflux function are essential for avoiding infection. If due to a cold, or poor formation of the Eustachian tube, or whatever the reason that causes dysfunction, by not allowing air intake to ventilate the nasopharyngeal cavity, the probability of infection is greater than when the ear is ventilated. These circumstances are perfect for the growth of pathogens.
Why is Otitismore frequent in children?In children, the tube is in a more horizontal position than in adults because their skull is developing. Because of this, draining is more difficult to perform and the evacuation of secretions into the nasopharynx is more complicated, allowing infection to be focused in the middle ear, leading to painful Otitis.
What hearing aid must we fit in these cases?In these cases the correct fitting would be RITE or Open Fit type hearing aids, which have great ventilation and would be the correct standard for fitting. Depending of course on each patient and their evolution, it is sometimes possible to fit a CIC or ITC with good ventilation to ventilate well the External Auditory Canal (EAC) or use an acrylic mold also provided with good ventilation for deeper losses that accompany this disease. –
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