When you yawn or swallow, the eustachian tubes open briefly and make the
air pressure equal inside and outside the ears (top picture).
The eustachian tubes drain fluid from the ears. But if a tube can't
open, fluid can get trapped in the middle ear (bottom picture). This creates
pressure that can cause ear pain.
September 10, 2012
Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics & Charles M. Myer, III, MD - Otolaryngology
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