Patients with obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) often show severe nasal obstruction, chronic sinusitis and/or a deficit of nasal mucociliary clearance with nasopharyngeal stagnation of secretions possibly predisposing to eustachian tube dysfunction (ETD). This clinical prospective study investigates ETD, nasal resistance and nasal mucociliary clearance in 40 OSA patients (diagnosis based on polysomnography) with 30 patients in a control group. Eustachian tube score-7 was evaluated in all of the analysed subjects after ENT examination, anterior rhinomanometry and test for mucociliary transport time. It is known that OSA patients have a higher likelihood of suffering from oronasal pathological conditions.
So not surprisingly 20% of the patients with a diagnosis of OSA also had a diagnosis of ETD with a statistical difference with the control group (p = 0.03). This study concluded with a suggestion that evaluation of ETD should be performed in patients suffering from OSA.
However, it can be argued that some do not have the extensive work-up facilities suggested in the paper and even if the diagnosis of ETD is made, we have little evidence based treatment to offer for this condition in adults. It is therefore debateable whether it is really worth the extensive work-up.