Effective methods for treating eustachian tube blockage include yawning, swallowing or plugging the nostrils while gently blowing to forcibly open the passage, as listed by MedicineNet.com. If the problem persists, individuals should seek medical attention.
Common causes of eustachian tube blockage include upper respiratory infections, sinus infections and allergies, according to MedicineNet.com. Although a healthy tube opens frequently and widely to equalize air pressure inside the middle ear, individuals with eustachian tube blockage or poorly functioning eustachian tubes experience a sense of fullness in the ears, popping, clicking, mild hearing loss and possibly pain when undergoing elevation changes. This may occur during air travel, while scuba diving, when driving through mountainous roads or while riding the elevator. Children are especially prone to blockage because their tubes are narrower and oriented more horizontally. Although infants cannot intentionally unblock their eustachian tubes, they may experience relief by crying or sucking on a bottle or pacifier.
Individuals with eustachian tube problems may use a decongestant medication or nasal spray prior to air travel, as stated by MedicineNet.com. Aggressive control of allergies may also help to prevent blockage. In extreme cases, a doctor may need to surgically insert a pressure-equalization tube into the eardrum to take over the role of a eustachian tube.