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The effect of topical xylometazoline on Eustachian tube function

  • K S Joshi (a1), V W Q Ho (a1), M E Smith (a2) and J R Tysome (a2)



Topical nasal decongestants are frequently used as part of the medical management of symptoms related to Eustachian tube dysfunction.


This study aimed to assess the effect of topical xylometazoline hydrochloride sprayed in the anterior part of the nose on Eustachian tube active and passive opening in healthy ears.


Active and passive Eustachian tube function was assessed in healthy subjects before and after intranasal administration of xylometazoline spray, using tympanometry, video otoscopy, sonotubometry, tubo-tympano-aerodynamic-graphy and tubomanometry.


Resting middle-ear pressures were not significantly different following decongestant application. Eustachian tube opening rate was not significantly different following the intervention, as measured by all function tests used. Sonotubometry data showed a significant increase in the duration of Eustachian tube opening following decongestant application.


There remains little or no evidence that topical nasal decongestants improve Eustachian tube function. Sonotubometry findings do suggest that further investigation with an obstructive Eustachian tube dysfunction patient cohort is warranted.


Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: Mr James R Tysome, Department of ENT Surgery, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Hills Road, CambridgeCB2 0QQ, UK E-mail:


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Mr J R Tysome takes responsibility for the integrity of the content of the paper

Presented at the 32nd Politzer Society Meeting and 2nd World Congress of Otology, 28 May – 1 June 2019, Warsaw, Poland.



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The effect of topical xylometazoline on Eustachian tube function

  • K S Joshi (a1), V W Q Ho (a1), M E Smith (a2) and J R Tysome (a2)


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