Talk:Eustachian tube

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WHY??? I am asking the question... 'Why does almost every 'image' [diagram] of the Eu tube show the top end, but NOT the bottom end??? including 'Gray's Anatomy' [the medical reference book, not the TV show]... WHY? I have had problems equalizing the air pressure in my ears when we came down from the mountains when I was a teen... and when I fly on airplanes, every time... I cant get 'into' my ear (at the top end), I use an anti-histamine to effect things at the lower end, where the Eu tube goes to the 'inferior nasal cavity'... I will FIND a pic and put it in the article... dNorm 03:41, 21 June 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dnorm (talkcontribs)

Linkage between Figures[edit]

The two main figures share only one common term (Eustachian Tube) and that appears to have been added. It raises questions that I can't answer like "Do the Malleus and Incus in the bottom figure define the parts of the Ossicles in the upper figure?" Any help in replacing these two figures with one or more better figures would be helpful. Thanks.

Ossicles = Malleus, Incus, Stapes
Ear drum = Tympanum = Tympanic Membrane
Ear Canal = Auditory Canal
AerobicFox (talk) 19:50, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

Any miracle cures?[edit]

Have had problems with my Eustachian tube for 5 days. My doctor thinks thinks this is a bi product of a heavy cold which has hung around this February. He has prescribed a nasal spray to clear my lingerring chest infection.

Are there any miracle cures out there? Would welcome an email from anyone with help? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 01:53, April 24, 2005

one word... Chlor-Trimeton [brand name] ... buy a bottle of the 'store-brand' [generic] '4-hour' pill, a hundred for about $5... regards... dNorm 03:30, 21 June 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dnorm (talkcontribs)

Nature vs nurture in muscle control.[edit]

From the article: Some people are born with the ability to contract just these muscles voluntarily, similar to people who can wiggle their ears.

Can anyone verify whether this ability is naturally inborn or trained? I didn't know how to wiggle my ears until I was 10. :-) changed 15:17, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

As long as I can remember I've been able to control the muscles of my eustachian tube. - RyanAH 12 July 2006
You mean not everyone can do that? Wow. I never knew any word for it either, just 'clicking your ears'... if you can't do it voluntarily, how do you relieve pressure when you go up in an elevator? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 15:10, February 16, 2007
Swallow or yawn. This is a reason that chewing gum is so popular on airplane flights. -Warriorness 22:08, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
I think this ability is naturally inborn, however finding out whether one has the ability is by accident and only if one is somehow made aware of this through the coincidence of 'clicking my ears' with 'pressure relief' without resorting to jaw movements (neither swallowing nor yawning). - sdyue (one who added comment about 'kalikkity') As long as I can remember, I too have always had the ability as well as my brother, and my children. Discovered ability from the ordeal of airline trips when very young (aged around 2 to 4). Always wanted to know if there was a more biological 'technical' or 'medical' term for this ability, but have not yet found it (already asked my family doctor, to which there was no answer). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 12:58, July 9, 2007
Interesting! I can "click my ears" but I never read about it. I asked a doctor long ago and he gave me a blank look and said he'd never heard of it. Thanks, wikipedia. Bealevideo (talk) 01:35, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
I can also click my ears. Didn't think anyone knew/talked about it till I finally looked it up. Cool! I can also do this thing where I open the tubes up, pinch my nose, and breath out, so air builds up behind my eardrums like balloons. It actually feels good because sometimes my muscles feel "strained" there. LOL. Sometimes though it's impossible to do if you have a cold (had a cold on a plane and tried desperately to pop them but it seemed like it was sealed closed. Had to let them pop themselves)- Tina 29 April 2008 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:39, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
You know, if you open your Eustachian tube and take a short sharp sniff through your nose, it will do the same thing, you don't need to hold you nose. -- Tex Jernigan Texjer (talk) 01:03, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
I 'learned' how to do this when I was ten, during a flight from New York to London. I couldn't get the pressure to equalize in my ears, so I spent hours moving my jaw and yawning trying to clear it. After the flight, I found I could pop my ears at will, and I've been doing it for over 20 years now.Foij00 (talk) 22:13, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
I've been able to do this for as long as I can remember. I've tried explaining it to people, but nobody could get it. When I do it, I'm able to hear my breathing loudly and if I hold my breath (without closing off my airway), I can also hear my pulse. I use it as an indication of my congestion level as I can't open these tubes completely (in one or both sides) when congested.) Ccsccs7 (talk) 20:48, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
I've explained voluntary ear clicking to others in my family and they look at me like I am crazy. I therefore assumed I could click my ears and others couldn't because I had a buildup of scar tissue in my ears and tubes from childhood ear infections. It's interesting to hear others can do this too. The scar tissue may still play a role because I hear a scatchy-click sound when I pop my ears instead of a pure single click (every time a doctor looks in my ears they comment on the amount of scarring). It sure comes in handy on airplane trips. By the way, Wikipedia talk pages are for discussing how to improve the article and not for general discussion of the topic (I am guilty here too). (talk) 19:55, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
Can any of you also suck mucus down into your mouth from what appears to be a passage in the soft palette? I can do the whole "clicking" thing, with my ears, and it delighted me to hear about the "roaring" sound that occurs when I hold my Eustachian tube open. I went on a plane flight when I was 7, and it just naturally came to me to release the pressure. Cool to hear a name for it finally. There should be a word for innate special abilities like this. I can do ALL of the Entoptic Phenomena (That's my floaters picture), or see faces of people and animals in the popcorn textured ceilings (Pareidolia), and the latest, which I'm arguing with my girlfriend with, I can pull mucus from a hole in the roof of my mouth, onto the tip of my tongue. What is this? -- Tex Texjer (talk) 01:00, 10 April 2010 (UTC)


What, are there pseudo-stachian tubes? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 15:10, February 16, 2007

help me i dont know what the eustachian tube does.... -xoxo- -zaranian- g6 needing your help- —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:29, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

Copyright violation?[edit]

The paragraph starting with "Behind the nose and up above the tonsils" is verbatim from Chapter 6 of Dr. Gerald Poesnecker's "It's Only Natural." Could that count as fair use? BradAGrantham 19:55, 15 September 2006 (UTC) Then attribute it. This would be considered fair use, I believe. If not, change some words, rearrange sentence structure and make it not verbatim anymore.


The article said that when a person who has voluntary control over the muscles opens or closes the 'tubes, they are forced to breathe. As one of these people, I can certainly say that this is not the case. I've deleted the misinformation - if it turns out that I'm just a freak of nature, you can find it in the history. -Warriorness 22:08, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

I have to sort of force myself to breathe (except when sleeping). I doubt that this is related I think a lot of people don't breathe deep enogh. PS I can control my ear pressure as well. My girlfrind thinks I'm lying when I talk to her about it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:22, 12 April 2009 (UTC)
For what it's worth, I can perform this action while completely blocking my airway. It's definitely not linked to breathing, although an individuals learned method of controlling these muscles may be breath dependent. (talk) 10:17, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

Eustacian tube problems!![edit]

I have had issues with my ears for a number of years now. On a 'specialists' advice I had surgery on my septum to straighten it - supposedly to eleviate my ear stress. This changed nothing. The air just does not flow properly. All the medical tests say I am fine. I have hearing loss so bad at times I can't talk on the phone. Does anybody have any advice at all??? - Desperate! — Preceding unsigned comment added by Heidiblueberry (talkcontribs) 22:48, June 19, 2007

I'm pretty sure mine are related to poor posture/neck and back issues. I find if lie in bed on my side with a pillow underneath my armpit and rest my head flat on another pillow my eustachian tubes pretty much stay open in that position. -- (talk) 04:24, 28 April 2009 (UTC)


What part of the eustachian tube causes the popetyclickety sound? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:34, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

The following mechanism is just a guess, but: The muscle that is under voluntary control in opening the eustachian tube, the tensor veli palatini, shares innervation with the tensor typmani muscle and these are both active during mastication. (The tensor tympani tightens to quiet the noise of chewing) Voluntarily contracting the TVP might also activate the TT and cause a clicking noise as the ossicles move. So, it might be that no part of the tube makes a noise. It's just a floppy meat hose anyway. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:25, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
The surface tension of the moisture in the tube, breaking. This happens so close to the inner ear, that you can hear it internally while you wouldn't hear it next to your ear, for instance. Kind of like a bubble popping, if you will. (talk) 10:18, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

Voluntary tube opening[edit]

16/03/2010 - Edit: Added the french reference to Voluntary tube opening (BTV). Deleted the Frenzel Maneuver link, that maneuver has nothing to do with Voluntary tube opening, since it's a method that requires nose pinch, same as valsava, so it doesn't count as a voluntary opening of the tubes, it is a pressure-forced opening. - Alejandro Sastre —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:48, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

It's still a manual means to equalize the pressure, which is the topic of that section. JeramieHicks (talk) 03:36, 12 April 2010 (UTC)

Eustachian tube name[edit]

The Terminologia Anatomica, the offical medical dictionary does not recognize the name Eustachian tube ( as it is derived of the name of an anatomist ). In the same way, names of all similarly named structures were replaced by proper and recognized nomenclature. Therefore it is illogical to have Pharyngotympanic tube redirected to Eustachian tube instead of vice versa!! Change of page name recommended! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:15, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

Typically the common name is used on Wikipedia, so when Eustachian tube becomes obsolete the title of this article will be replaced. The name pharyngotympanic tube is still relatively new, to the extent that one of my instructors had never heard of the term.AerobicFox (talk) 21:07, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
Just checking in from 2021! Students of anatomy in medical school continue to be taught the term "pharyngotympanic tube" almost exclusively; every textbook has it as such. Anecdotally, my class this year was told that we would not be receiving credit for "Eustachian tube" on our exams. But, it is also my understanding that in a clinical context the term "Eustachian" continues to be used. Perhaps this should be revisited, as it has been approximately one decade since the "relatively new" term has been the standard anatomical term. Userbrn (talk) 18:53, 14 March 2021 (UTC)
It's an interesting question, though it makes me feel old! My experience is that Eustachian tube is still predominant in everyday clinical practice (UK). More importantly from an article naming point of view, Eustachian tube has a general level of understanding in the population that I think will continue to mean it remains the common name for the foreseeable future. As such, I would suggest keeping the current set up for now. |→ Spaully ~talk~  21:35, 14 March 2021 (UTC)
My unscientific observation is that "Eustachian tube" continues to be the WP:COMMONNAME. It may not be what's taught in med schools, but most people are not med students or medical doctors, so that's not a particularly pertinent factor. TJRC (talk) 23:18, 14 March 2021 (UTC)

Presence in other animals?[edit]

Some important zoology questions not mentioned here:

  • Is the Eustachian tube present in all mammals, or just some? Currently only humans and horses are mentioned.
  • Is it present in reptiles and other species?

DMahalko (talk) 10:30, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

I imagine all mammals have them, as well as probably any land dwelling creature with ears. At the very least some type of tube is needed to equalize the pressure of the air within the inner ear with the pressure from outside, so anything with a tympanic membrane will likely have something like this to fulfill that function(but for all I know there could really be hundreds of exceptions or other ways some other animals have to do this).AerobicFox (talk) 21:10, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
It would appear that auditory detection could work with a permanently fluid filled inner ear, and which would not require pressure balancing. DMahalko (talk) 16:40, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

It is present in all mammals in one form or another. This information is all over the internet from reputable sources. I would suggest to EVERYONE to use this area to talk about things that require serious research or has conflicting information available, not for stuff that takes a 30 second google search. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Crazybuk (talkcontribs) 12:26, 5 August 2011 (UTC)

Equalizing one side by lobe tugging[edit]

(Yeah yeah, Wikipedia is not for OR, which is why this is on the talk page.)

So anyway I seem to have discovered a better way to direct air into one ear or the other when experiencing an inner ear infection. The usual suggested way is to pinch the nose shut and pressurize the inner nasal cavity very gently, but this often results in air entering the "wrong" ear since the one with problems is already plugged up.

It appears that tugging/wiggling the earlobe on the side when I want the air to go helps to partially open the Eustachion tube on that the side of my head where I want the air to go and make the air only go to that ear.

I am not aware of this method being described anywhere else. DMahalko (talk) 16:45, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

Equalizing: cover and externally pressurize the other ear canal[edit]

This is another (OR, alas) option for getting air into one specific inner ear region when one of the Eustachian tubes is plugged with an infection or just not cooperating.

While pinching the nose, apply slight pressure with the end of your thumb of your other hand over the ear canal of the ear where you DON'T want the air to go, and then gently pressurize the nasal cavity.

Covering the opposite side ear canal and pressing in with the thumb slightly pressurizes the outer ear canal and eardrum, making it more likely that air will enter the other inner ear cavity through the fluid-blocked tube.

DMahalko (talk) 13:20, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

Proposed merge with Bony part of pharyngotympanic tube[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Needless fragmentation to be separate; would improve quality of information and readability of displayed on the same page. Could be re-expanded at a later date if necessary. LT910001 (talk) 23:27, 10 April 2014 (UTC)

Proposed merge with Cartilage of pharyngotympanic tube[edit]

As above. LT910001 (talk) 23:27, 10 April 2014 (UTC)

No objections in 9 months, so  Done. --Tom (LT) (talk) 05:32, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Requested move 26 August 2015[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: not moved. No consensus the proposed title is the most common name. Jenks24 (talk) 20:12, 3 September 2015 (UTC)

Eustachian tubeAuditory tube – TA preferred synonym. A move to a commonly used title that readers can actually understand and are familiar with ("auditory") and a move away from the current eponymous title. Tom (LT) (talk) 00:35, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

  • Oppose for now. What's TA? Where's evidence that it's their preferred synonym, assuming TA is relevant? Where's evidence that "Auditory tube" is more commonly used (e.g. ngrams, scholarly usage)? If it's NOT more commonly used, then by definition readers are more familiar with "Eustachian tube" (which is personally the only version I've heard, but I'm just one data point). SnowFire (talk) 01:54, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
  • I have never heard of an auditory tube. But in scuba diving etc I have often heard of Eustachian tubes. (In these modern years of clearing the eponyms out of human anatomy, I have seen it called a pharyngotympanic tube.) Anthony Appleyard (talk) 05:02, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose - I never heard it called "auditory tube", and I taught medical anatomy for 3 years. HCA (talk) 02:57, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Diameter of Eustachian tube?[edit]

Is there any information available about the average diameter of the Eustachian tube for adult men and women? I am aware it probably varies in diameter along the length of the tube. Is there a direct proportional relationship between the diameter of the skull and the size of the tube? I assume yes.

I don't know how to get more detail about this question, other than asking a hospital to do an elective MRI of my own head so I can examine the 3D scan data myself.

-- DMahalko (talk) 17:15, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Apparently 3mm HCA (talk) 17:57, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Proposed merge with Pharyngeal opening of auditory tube[edit]

Needless fragmentation, can easily be represented in a single article Tom (LT) (talk) 00:14, 25 February 2016 (UTC)

  • Merge. I don't think Pharyngeal opening of auditory tube is likely to grow beyond its present stub, and readers are better served by having all of this material in one place, rather than having to go to another article to get a few more sentences. This is consistent with the earlier merger of the bony part article, as discussed above. TJRC (talk) 00:40, 25 February 2016 (UTC)

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Remove reference to phenylephrine in the "Mucus drainage" section[edit]

Since phenylephrine has been demonstrated to be no more effective than placebo as a decongestant, removal of the reference to phenylephrine in this section should be considered — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:15, 20 September 2018 (UTC)


Should 'eustachian' be capitalized? I don't see it discussed here nor is the article consistent in that possible error. Jojalozzo (talk) 21:52, 17 August 2021 (UTC)

I think if it were Eustachi's tube it would make more sense to capitalize. However, that's my personal opinion. Ngram Viewer shows the capitalized version many many times more popular in the 19th century but less so in the 20th. I don't think it's conclusive for the lowercase version, so I'd be happy to find consensus for the uppercase version since it already predominates in the article. Jojalozzo (talk) 22:25, 17 August 2021 (UTC)
My sense is that a proper noun ("Eustachi") transformed into an adjective ("eustachian") ought not to be capitalized. I wouldn't capitalize "platonic love" or "procrustean bed" for example (although I see the article for platonic love agrees with me, but the one for procrustean bed does not). I would capitalize Lewy body, for example, because it still is the proper noun "Lewy" rather than a derivative non-proper adjective such as "lewian" or the like.
I agree with Jojalozzo that possessives (islets of Langerhans, Parkinson's disease) clearly should be capitalized, but that's not the case here.
For comparison, I note that Fallopian tube seems to pretty consistently capitalize this structure named for Gabriele Falloppio, but I would disagree with that, too.
Merriam-Webster lists it as "eustachian tube noun, often capitalized E"; the OED is silent in capitalization.
Medical Subject Headings says "'eustachian' is not capitalized in titles or translations",[1] but I don't know how helpful that is in this context.
(Interesting factoid: as I type this, my Firefox browser flags "eustachian" as a misspelling, suggesting "Eustachian" instead, but what do they know?)
In sum, I'd prefer not capitalizing it, but there's no clear practice or authority, and it seems both forms are in common use. TJRC (talk) 00:39, 18 August 2021 (UTC)


  1. ^ Medicine (U.S.), National Library of (1997). Medical Subject Headings. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, National Institutes of Health, National Library of Medicine.