The Eustachian tubes are the small tubes that connect the middle ear with the top part of the throat. They are needed for equalising ear pressure, as well as draining fluid from the middle ear. The Eustachian tubes open up when chewing, yawning or swallowing. As they are very small, sometimes the Eustachian tubes can become blocked and dysfunction as a result (this is called Eustachian tube dysfunction). Symptoms can include a blocked ear, changes to hearing, pain or hearing a popping sound. The most common causes of Eustachian tube dysfunction are the common cold and allergies. ETD will often resolve on its own without treatment, however, sometimes certain over-the-counter medications or prescription medications will be advised.