Q:

What connects the middle ear to the nasopharynx?

A:

Quick Answer

The middle ear is connected to the nasopharynx by the eustachian tube, according to Healthline. The eustachian tube controls pressure in the middle ear to balance it with that outside the ear. Except during chewing, swallowing and yawning when the eustachian tube opens for balance, it remains closed.

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Full Answer

The eustachian tube plays a key role in balancing air pressure inside and outside of the body, and a disruption of this balance results in discomfort within the ear and symptoms such as ringing ears and

dizziness, according to Healthline. In case there is a rapid change in the atmospheric pressure, the body reacts by inducing deliberate and involuntary activities such as chewing, swallowing of saliva or yawning to open the eustachian tube and let air in, so that the air pressure balance between the inside and outside of the ear is restored.

Fluids or swelling in the ear, infection of the sinus or ear, nasal congestion or allergies could lead to dysfunction of the eustachian tube, according to Healthline. Using an antibiotic or decongestants can relieve the symptoms of the dysfunction, but severe incidences may require surgery. It is essential to consult a doctor in case of discomfort in the ear, ringing or dizziness.

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