QS Study

An auditory tube is the ventilation tube between the pharynx and middle ear. It is a canal that connects the middle ear to the nasopharynx, which consists of the upper throat and the back of the nasal cavity. The main function of this tube is ventilation of the middle ear and protection of equalized air pressure on both sides of the tympanic membrane or eardrum.

Clinical anatomy of the auditory tube

Inflammation of the auditory tube (Eustachian catarrh) is often secondary to an attack of common cold, or of a sore throat. This causes pain into the car which is aggravated by swallowing, due to blockage of the tube. Pain is relieved by an installation of decongestant drops in the nose, which help to open the ostium. The ostium is commonly blocked in children by enlargement of the tubal tonsil. Obstructive disorders result from conditions such as glue ear, enlarged adenoids, hay fever, and persistent rhinitis.

Clinical anatomy of auditory tube 1

Fig: auditory tube

The tube extends from the petrous portion of the temporal bone to the fleshy lateral wall of the nasopharynx and hence has both bony and cartilaginous elements. Infections from the upper respiratory tract can track up the Eustachian tube and cause otitis media (middle ear infection). It helps to drain the middle ear during opening and closing by pumping secretions from the middle ear; clearance of secretions also occur. Conditions such as nasal congestion, infection of the ear or sinus, or allergies may cause these symptoms and lead to auditory tube problems.

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