When pressure increases in the air around you, your Eustachian tubes are responsible for balancing things out inside your ears. The problem is that these tubes can be blocked by allergies, sinus problems or a cold. The result is discomfort and potentially an ear infection.
The Eustachian tubes are tiny. They only measure about 1.5 inches in length. These tubes, which are only a few millimeters in diameter, connect your ears, nose and throat. The tubes open and close depending on what you are doing. During speech, or while yawing and swallowing, the tubes open. Fluid from your ears drains to the back of your throat by means of these tubes. They also occasionally open up to allow pressure to be regulated.
If you are suffering from a cold or allergies, swelling may cause the Eustachian tubes to be unable to perform their usual function. Sinus congestion can also block these tubes. In children, a buildup of fluid can be dangerous and result in temporary or even permanent hearing damage. Children are more susceptible to inner ear problems because their Eustachian tubes are not done developing and cannot drain fluid down the throat like they do for adults.
Sometimes flying on an airplane can increase problems with the Eustachian tubes because of the cabin pressure changes. To limit this effect, you may wish to chew gum. This will increase saliva production and cause you to swallow more frequently. Frequent swallowing will keep the Eustachian tubes open.
There are a number of different ways to treat ear aches that are caused by Eustachian tube issues. Proper breathing techniques can be of assistance. Also, if an infection occurs, your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic for you. If the problem is due to inflammation, a corticosteroid may be prescribed to reduce the swelling and help fluid to drain. A final option is the surgical implanting of tubes into the ear drums to keep swelling from being able to block the tubes. This procedure is more frequently performed on children in an effort to preserve their hearing when it is being threatened by frequent or severe Eustachian tube blockages.
It’s summertime! – time to enjoy some fun in the sun while you can. Whether you want to hit the beach, the golf course or the local pool, there’s one thing that can get in your way of enjoying yourself to the full – a runny nose accompanied by sneezing. Do you have the dreaded summer cold? – maybe not, but unfortunately you might be even more upset about the real answer.
We usually associate allergies with the spring and autumn seasons, but summer allergies are becoming more and more common. In fact, many who struggle with allergies are now waging war all year around.
What are some of the most common summer culprits? For many it is pollen from grass. The smell of fresh cut grass may be welcoming in summertime, but not so if it elicits a fit of sneezing. The other major enemy is mold. Even at its peak season, pollen is never as prolific as mold is all year long. For those who suffer from allergies perpetually, mold is often the trigger.
Just because you have never had allergies in the past, don’t write this summer’s sniffles off as a cold yet. Summer allergies can come on suddenly and without warning, even for those who don’t have a history of seasonal allergies. So how can you tell what is causing your nose to run? Here are a few things to look out for.
Colds won’t usually hang on for any longer than two weeks. If your symptoms aren’t going away, it’s time to start thinking about allergies. Did your symptoms come on all at once or gradually? If you woke up with your throat sore one morning and gradually developed symptoms over the next few days, a cold is more likely. With allergies, all of the symptoms typically present together.
Unfortunately, the color of your mucus is not a good determination. Colds and allergies both typically create clear mucus – if you are producing yellow or green stuff, you likely have an infection. Itchy eyes can be the biggest tell-tale sign. This doesn’t usually accompany a cold, so if the sniffling is combined with uncomfortable eyes, you can usually bet on an allergy.
Get plenty of rest and fluids if you have a cold. See your doctor if you think you have an infection. If you have severe seasonal allergies, you may want to consider allergy shots.