The Eustachian tube is a tube that connects the middle ear to the back of the nose (the post nasal space) and is responsible for allowing ventilation to the middle ear such that the ear pressure in the middle ear is the same as the ear pressure in the outer ear or atmosphere.
The function of this tube is commonly affected in children causing middle ear infections and glue as the tube tends to be shorter and more horizontal. However problems can persist in adulthood and maybe worsened by certain nasal conditions including turbinate hypertrophy, allergic rhinitis, Chronic Rhinosinusitis, nasal polyps and rarely tumours affecting the post nasal space. This may cause symptoms as mild as a blocked ear to as significant as the formation or cholesteatoma. In assessment and management or middle ear disease, therefore, it is also important to assess and optimise the health of the nose.
The treatment of nasal conditions may range from medical treatment and nasal sprays to surgical treatment. Ideally this should be carried out before progressing to definitive ear surgery if possible, as it optimises the outcome of the ear surgery.