Eustachian tube

/yooh stay"sheuhn, -stay"kee euhn/, Anat.
a canal extending from the middle ear to the pharynx; auditory canal. See diag. under ear1.
[1735-45; named after EUSTACHIO; see -AN]

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also called  Auditory Tube,  

      tube that extends from the middle ear to the pharynx (throat). About 3 to 4 centimetres (1.2–1.6 inches) long in humans and lined with mucous membrane, it is directed downward and inward from the tympanic cavity, or middle ear, to that portion of the pharynx called the nasopharynx, the space above the soft palate and behind and continuous with the nasal passages. The upper end of the eustachian tube is narrow and surrounded by bone. As it nears the pharynx, the tube becomes wider and cartilaginous. The mucous lining is continuous with that of the middle ear. Small cilia (hairlike projections) cover it to aid the drainage of mucous secretions from the middle ear to the pharynx. The main function of the auditory tube is ventilation of the middle ear and maintenance of equalized pressure on both sides of the tympanic (drum) membrane. Closed at most times, the tube opens during swallowing. This permits equalization of the pressure without conscious effort. During an underwater dive or rapid descent in a plane the eustachian tube may remain closed in the face of rapidly increasing surrounding pressure. The pressure on both sides of the eardrum membrane can usually be equalized by holding the nose and blowing, by swallowing, or by wiggling the jaws.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • eustachian tube — [yo͞o stā′shən, yo͞ostā′shē ən, yo͞ostā′kē ən] n. [after Bartolommeo Eustachio (1520 74), It anatomist] [also E t ] a slender tube between the middle ear and the pharynx, which serves to equalize air pressure on both sides of the eardrum: see… …   English World dictionary

  • Eustachian tube — so called for Italian physician Bartolomeo Eustachio (d.1574), who discovered the passages from the ears to the throat. His name is from L. Eustachius (see EUSTACE (Cf. Eustace)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • Eustachian tube — ► NOUN Anatomy ▪ a narrow passage leading from the pharynx to the cavity of the middle ear, permitting the equalization of pressure on each side of the eardrum. ORIGIN named after the Italian anatomist Bartolomeo Eustachio (died 1574) …   English terms dictionary

  • Eustachian tube — Infobox Anatomy Name = Eustachian tube Latin = tuba auditiva GraySubject = 230 GrayPage = 1042 Caption = Anatomy of the human ear. Caption2 = MapPos = Eustachian Tube MapCaption = The middle ear Precursor = first branchial pouch System = Artery …   Wikipedia

  • Eustachian tube — The tube that runs from the middle ear to the pharynx. The function of the Eustachian tube is to protect, aerate and drain the middle ear (and mastoid). Occlusion of the Eustachian tube leads to the development of middle ear inflammation (otitis… …   Medical dictionary

  • eustachian tube — The tube connecting the middle ear to the breathing passage. A person suffers from an earache if this tube is blocked and the aircraft is descending. The tube opens automatically and equalizes the pressure across the middle ear while climbing. It …   Aviation dictionary

  • Eustachian tube — UK [juːˌsteɪʃ(ə)n ˈtjuːb] / US [juˌsteɪʃ(ə)n ˈtub] noun [countable] Word forms Eustachian tube : singular Eustachian tube plural Eustachian tubes medical one of the two tubes in your body that connect your ears to your throat and control the air… …   English dictionary

  • Eustachian tube — Eustachijaus vamzdis statusas T sritis fizika atitikmenys: angl. Eustachian tube vok. Eustachische Röhre, f; Ohrtrompete, f rus. евстахиева труба, f pranc. trompe d’Eustache, f …   Fizikos terminų žodynas

  • eustachian tube — Eu·sta·chi·an tube || juː steɪʃjÉ™n (Anatomy) auditory tube, thin tube connecting the middle ear to the pharynx (helps equalize internal and external pressure on the eardrum) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Eustachian tube — /juˈsteɪʃən tjub / (say yooh stayshuhn tyoohb) noun a canal extending from the middle ear to the pharynx; auditory canal. {Eustachian, from Bartolommeo Eustachio, died 1574, Italian anatomist + an} …   Australian English dictionary

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