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Tuba aperta: Ear disease with opened Eustachian tube

  1. The Eustachian tube (auditory tube) runs between the throat and the middle ear to regulate the pressure in the eardrum. A tuba aperta is an ear disorder in which the eustachian tube, which is normally closed, is usually open. Due to this tubal dysfunction (problem with the functioning of the Eustachian tube), the patient experiences autophony (hearing self-generated sounds that are amplified, such as their own breathing). The exact cause of the ear disease is often unknown, but occasionally weight loss, middle ear infection and other risk factors have been associated with the development of a tuba aperta. Treatment for the benign condition consists of medication or surgery.

Symptoms

  1. The patient experiences, among other things, muffled hearing and autophony. With autophony, the patient hears their own voice, breathing or pulse, often amplified (in normal circumstances the brain suppresses these sounds). Some patients find their perceived voice volume annoying, causing them to speak very softly. Their own voice may also sound lower or deeper to other people, because the trachea has more volume when the Eustachian tube is open. The patient also sometimes sounds like he is talking with a stuffy nose. Some patients may have difficulty with normal physical activities, showing increased breathing. In addition, many patients have the urge to clean the ear because the ear feels dry (dry ears). Other symptoms of a tuba aperta, such as dizziness, hearing loss, tinnitus aurium, fullness in the ear and a blocked ear

Diagnosis and investigations

  1. Interview and diagnostic examination

Treatment

  1. Medication Nasal drops containing estrogen or saturated potassium iodide cause edema (a swelling) in the opening of the Eustachian tube. Nasal medications containing dilute hydrochloric acid, chlorobutanol and benzyl alcohol are effective in some patients and usually have few side effects. Nasal Sprays



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