The Eustachian Tubes

Your nose and ear communicate well through their connection – the Eustachian Tube.

On the side walls of the nasopharynx are the openings of the Eustachian tubes, right and left, connecting with the cavity of the middle ear. The middle ear space is the hollowed out portion of the skull bone that contains the hearing apparatus and is covered on one side by the eardrum. In adults, the Eustachian tube is about 35 mm long (1.3 inches) and approximately 3 mm in diameter. The semi-soft cartilage provides the supporting structure for the first two-thirds of the Eustachian tube, with the last third (the part closest to the middle ear space) being made of bone.

The tissue that lines the Eustachian tube is similar to that inside the nasal cavity and may have the same inflammation when presented with similar pathogenic stimuli. The Eustachian tube was named in honor of the 16th century Italian anatomiast Eustachius.

For nasal irrigation, it is important to know that the wave of liquid per squeeze must not be too big or under too great of pressure. Otherwise, the liquid can be forced to run into the ears through the Eustachian tubes and can cause ear pressure or ear pain.

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