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The eustachian (say "you-STAY-shee-un") tubes connect the middle ear on each side to the back of the throat. They keep air pressure stable in the ears. If your eustachian tubes become blocked, the air pressure in your ears changes. A quick change in air pressure can cause eustachian tubes to close up. This might happen when an airplane changes altitude or when a scuba diver goes up or down underwater. And a cold can make the tubes swell and block the fluid in the middle ear from draining out. That can cause pain.
Eustachian tube problems often clear up on their own or after treating the cause of the blockage. If your tubes continue to be blocked, you may need surgery.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:
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Current as of: September 8, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & John Pope MD - Pediatrics & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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