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Eustachian tube patency

Eustachian tube patency refers to how much the eustachian tube is open. The eustachian tube runs between the middle ear and the throat. It controls the pressure behind the eardrum and middle ear space. This helps keep the middle ear free of fluid.

The eustachian tube is normally open, or patent. However, some conditions can increase pressure in the ear such as:

These can cause the eustachian tube to become blocked.

References

Kerschner JE, Preciado D. Otitis media. In: Kliegman RM, St. Geme JW, Blum NJ, Shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 658.

O'Reilly RC, Levi J. Anatomy and physiology of the eustachian tube. In: Flint PW, Francis HW, Haughey BH, et al, eds. Cummings Otolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 130.

  • Ear anatomy

    Ear anatomy - illustration

    The ear consists of external, middle, and inner structures. The eardrum and the 3 tiny bones conduct sound from the eardrum to the cochlea.

    Ear anatomy

    illustration

  • Eustachian tube anatomy

    Eustachian tube anatomy - illustration

    The eustachian tube is the tube that runs between the middle ear and pharynx and regulates the ear pressure around the ear drum.

    Eustachian tube anatomy

    illustration

    • Ear anatomy

      Ear anatomy - illustration

      The ear consists of external, middle, and inner structures. The eardrum and the 3 tiny bones conduct sound from the eardrum to the cochlea.

      Ear anatomy

      illustration

    • Eustachian tube anatomy

      Eustachian tube anatomy - illustration

      The eustachian tube is the tube that runs between the middle ear and pharynx and regulates the ear pressure around the ear drum.

      Eustachian tube anatomy

      illustration


    Review Date: 8/29/2020

    Reviewed By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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