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why do the auditory tubes open into the nasopharynx

1) Lower end of the trachea divides into 2 primary bronchi, 1 on the R and 1 on the L; right one is larger and more vertical than left
2) Primary bronchi enter the lung divide into secondary bronchi, which branch into bronchioles eventually divide into alveolar ducts alveoli 3) 23 levels of branching, producing a huge # of tiny bronchioles, ending in terminal bronchioles 4) Terminal bronchioles -- divide into respiratory bronchioles (have thin, gas-exchanging walls) -- alveolar ducts -- alveolar sacs -- alveoli (like hollow grapes) , or of the, commonly affects the Eustachian tube. Children under 7 are more susceptible to this condition, one theory being that this is because the Eustachian tube is shorter and at more of a horizontal angle than in the adult ear. Others argue that susceptibility in this age group is related to immunological factors and not Eustachian tube anatomy. [ Barotitis, a form of, may occur when there is a substantial difference in air or water pressure between the outer and the inner ear for example, during a rapid ascent while, or during sudden decompression of an aircraft at high altitude. that is much slimmer than usual.

The cause may be genetic, but it has also been posited as a condition in which the patient did not fully recover from the effects of pressure on the middle ear during birth ( retained birth compression ). [ It is suggested that Eustachian tube dysfunction can result in a large amount of mucus accumulating in the middle ear, often impairing hearing to a degree. This condition is known as, and may result in the mucus becoming very thick and glue-like, a condition known as glue ear. A is a rare condition in which the Eustachian tube remains intermittently open, causing an echoing sound of the person's own heartbeat, breathing, and speech. This may be temporarily relieved by holding the head upside down. Smoking can also cause damage to the that protect the Eustachian tube from mucus, which can result in the clogging of the tube and a buildup of bacteria in the ear, leading to a middle ear infection.

Recurring and chronic cases of can result in Eustachian tube dysfunction caused by excessive mucus production which, in turn, causes obstruction to the openings of the Eustachian tubes. In severe cases of childhood inner ear infections and Eustachian tube blockage, ventilation can be provided by a surgical puncturing of the eardrum to permit air equalization, known as. The eardrum would normally naturally heal and close the hole, so a tiny plastic rimmed grommet is inserted into the hole to hold it open. This is known as a. As a child grows, the tube is eventually naturally expelled by the body. Longer-lasting vent grommets with larger flanges have been researched, but these can lead to permanent perforation of the eardrum. Surgical implantation of permanent bypasses around the eardrum have also been studied, though these suffer from blockage issues, requiring frequent manual cleaning. These also can lead to inner ear infection due to the direct path from the external to the internal ear.

Another approach to permitting middle ear drainage is the use of a prosthesis inserted into the Eustachian tube, to assist in holding the tube open. The prosthesis does not necessarily hold the tube completely open all the time, but may instead lightly brace the tissue walls of a narrow tube to assist in venting. One such example invented in 1978 is a silicone tube with a flange at the top, which keeps it from dislodging and sliding out into the throat. However, in a study in 1978 it was not found to be effective for long-term use, and would eventually become internally blocked with mucus or otitis media, or dislodged from its position. Debridement has also been studied as a solution to inability to open the Eustachian tube. (excessive growth) of the cells that produce mucus can make the tube hard to open, and the procedure to reduce the growth is known as "microdebrider Eustachian tuboplasty".

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