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Definition of Auditory Tube


Updated February 08, 2011

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Definition of Auditory Tube

The Auditory Tube

Photo © A.D.A.M.
Definition: The auditory tube, also called the Eustachian tube, is a tiny tube that runs from the middle ear to the back of the throat. Its primary function is to equalize pressure in the middle ear. Mucous drainage also helps prevent infection from ascending up the tube by carrying unwanted debris, such as viruses and bacteria, out of the ear. If the auditory tube becomes clogged, it can fill with fluid and mucous and become a rich environment for trapped bacteria or viruses to grow and multiply. The auditory tube of children is more horizontal than that of adults and therefore more likely to become clogged. This is why children have more ear infections than adults.
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