Reference Article

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Eustachian tube

The Eustachian tube (or auditory tube) is a tube that links the pharynx to the middle ear.

In adults the Eustachian tube is approximately 35 mm long.

Some medical books call this the pharyngotympanic tube.

Normally the Eustachian tube is closed, but it can open to let a small amount of air through to equalize the pressure between the middle ear and the atmosphere.

When this happens we hear a small pop, an event familiar to airplane travelers or drivers in mountainous regions.

Yawning or swallowing can pull on muscles in the neck, causing the tube to open.

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

Without this airway, the middle ear would be isolated from the atmosphere, and could be easily damaged by pressure changes.

Note: This article excerpts material from the Wikipedia article "Eustachian tube", which is released under the GNU Free Documentation License.

See the following related content on ScienceDaily:

Related Stories

Share This

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.


Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News


Free Subscriptions

Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile

Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?

Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins