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What You Need to Know About Eustachian Tubes and Tonsils

Mayo Clinic Talks

What You Need to Know About Eustachian Tubes and Tonsils

Guest: Laura J. Orvidas, M.D. Host: Darryl S. Chutka, M.D. (@ChutkaMD) Tonsils and eustachian tubes often get taken for granted until they cause problems. Eustachian tube dysfunction is quite common…
May 11, 2021

What You Need to Know About Eustachian Tubes and Tonsils

Guest: Laura J. Orvidas, M.D.

Host: Darryl S. Chutka, M.D. (@ChutkaMD)

Tonsils and eustachian tubes often get taken for granted until they cause problems. Eustachian tube dysfunction is quite common and usually resolves on its own, however some patients will develop recurrent eustachian tube dysfunction and it can result in recurrent episodes of otitis media, especially in children. Although recurrent tonsillitis used to be the most common indication for tonsillectomy, more children are having this procedure for disordered breathing conditions, such as obstructive sleep apnea. In this episode, we’ll discuss disorders of the eustachian tube and tonsils with Laura J. Orvidas, M.D., an otolaryngologist at the Mayo Clinic.

Specific topics discussed:

  • Purpose of the eustachian tube
  • Definition of eustachian tube dysfunction
  • Physical exam findings of eustachian tube dysfunction
  • Recurrent eustachian tube dysfunction in children and potential for recurrent episodes of otitis media
  • When pressure equalization tubes are indicated
  • Relationship between pharyngitis and tonsillitis
  • Viral versus bacterial causes of tonsillitis
  • How to suspect a peritonsillar abscess
  • Indications for tonsillectomy
  • Management of tonsil stones

Connect with the Mayo Clinic’s School of Continuous Professional Development online at https://ce.mayo.edu/ or on Twitter @MayoMedEd.

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