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Intrinsic cartilagenous obstruction of Eustachian tube Save

ICD-10 code: H68.12

Chapter: Diseases of the ear and mastoid process

Intrinsic Cartilagenous Obstruction of Eustachian Tube: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Eustachian tubes are small tubes that connect the middle ear to the back of the throat. These tubes help to equalize the pressure between the middle ear and the outside world, which is essential for proper hearing and balance. However, in some cases, the Eustachian tubes can become obstructed, leading to a condition known as intrinsic cartilagenous obstruction (ICO).

Causes of Intrinsic Cartilagenous Obstruction of Eustachian Tube

The exact cause of ICO is not fully understood, but it is believed to be related to the structure of the Eustachian tubes. Intrinsic cartilagenous obstruction occurs when the cartilage that supports the Eustachian tube becomes deformed or damaged, leading to a blockage. This can happen due to a variety of factors, including:

  1. Chronic inflammation of the Eustachian tubes
  2. Previous ear infections
  3. Ear trauma or injury
  4. Genetic factors
Symptoms of Intrinsic Cartilagenous Obstruction of Eustachian Tube

The symptoms of ICO can vary from person to person, but some of the most common include:

  • Ear pain or pressure
  • Difficulty hearing
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Dizziness or vertigo
  • Feeling of fullness in the ear
  • Recurrent ear infections
Treatment of Intrinsic Cartilagenous Obstruction of Eustachian Tube

There are several treatment options available for ICO, depending on the severity and frequency of the symptoms. Some of the most common treatments include:

  1. Nasal decongestants or nasal sprays to reduce inflammation and open up the Eustachian tubes
  2. Antibiotics to treat any underlying infections
  3. Surgery to remove the blockage or repair the damaged cartilage

In some cases, ICO may resolve on its own without treatment. However, if you are experiencing symptoms of ICO, it is important to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.


Intrinsic cartilagenous obstruction of the Eustachian tube can be a frustrating and painful condition, but there are treatment options available to manage the symptoms. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of ICO,