Eustachian Tube Dysfunction

How Long Does Eustachian Tube Dysfunction Last?

May 6, 2021

4 minutes

Reviewed by Michael Kaplan, MD

Anyone experiencing the symptoms of Eustachian tube dysfunction — from “plugged” ears to popping and ringing to pain — eventually asks themselves: How long does eustachian tube dysfunction last?The answer to this question, however, isn’t always straightforward. To find out how long Eustachian tube dysfunction might last for you, we need to look at what caused the mucosal lining of the tubes in your ears to swell. 

Let’s take a look at how the cause of your Eustachian tube dysfunction can determine how long you may take to recover, as well as when a case of Eustachian tube dysfunction might require treatment.

Need a brief reminder of Eustachian tube dysfunction basics? Get all the info you need in our article: What is Eustachian Tube Dysfunction?

How long does eustachian tube dysfunction last? 

Your Eustachian tubes help regulate the pressure in your ears and help drain fluid from your ears through your sinuses. These tubes are very small, and when they become blocked, this leads to Eustachian tube dysfunction (ETD). 

Short-term ETD: 

Short-term Eustachian tube dysfunction is most frequently caused by changes in altitude or air pressure. Most people experience this change when flying, but you can also experience it when driving up a mountain, scuba diving, or even riding up an elevator in a particularly tall building. Most instances of this type of ETD resolve themselves within a matter of hours or days, and frequently don’t require treatment. 

Longer-lasting ETD:

Eustachian tube dysfunction can also be caused by blockage from excess mucus caused by allergies and illnesses, including colds, the flu, and sinus infections. The occasional case of Eustachian tube dysfunction caused by these issues can and frequently should be treated with simple OTC medications. 

If you have frequent, recurring cases of Eustachian tube dysfunction or a case of ETD that last for longer than 2 weeks, however, it is recommended that you seek medical treatment.  

Can Eustachian tube dysfunction last months? 

If you’ve been wondering, “How long does eustachian tube dysfunction last?” because you’re worried that your Eustachian tube dysfunction has been lingering, it may be time for you to visit a doctor. 

That’s because, unfortunately, untreated Eustachian tube dysfunction can last for months, especially when the underlying cause goes unaddressed. Long-term ETD can lead to serious ear infections and, in severe cases, hearing loss. It is never wise to let a Eustachian tube dysfunction go untreated, especially if your symptoms last longer than 2 weeks. 

Treatment for chronic Eustachian tube dysfunction

As stated above, for your standard cases of Eustachian tube dysfunction, OTC medication can help address both the underlying cause of your ETD as well as reduce the swelling of the lining in your Eustachian tubes. 

For patients who experience treatment-resistant and/or frequent, chronic cases of Eustachian tube dysfunction, there are other types of Eustachian tube dysfunction treatments available. 

These include the minimally invasive Eustachian tube balloon dilation treatment offered at Kaplan Sinus Relief. This treatment is an innovative new treatment that uses a tiny, endoscopic balloon to widen the passageways of your Eustachian tubes, restoring drainage and preventing further flare-ups. 

Eustachian tube balloon dilation benefits are many, and include the fact that the treatment requires no cutting or incisions, can be performed in-office, and takes a matter of minutes. To top it all off, the Eustachian tube balloon dilation recovery time is very, very short, meaning you can get back to your life sooner rather than later.  

Eustachian tube balloon dilation treatment at Kaplan Sinus Relief 

At Kaplan Sinus Relief, we believe that the answer to the question, “How long does eustachian tube dysfunction last?” should be “not much longer.” Dr. Kaplan knows how to fix eustachian tube dysfunction with safe, effective treatments that allow you to get back on your feet quickly. 

To learn more about Eustachian tube balloon dilation treatment and start down the road towards recovery, request an appointment at Kaplan Sinus relief online or simply call us at 713-766-1818 today. 

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