The tube the doctor is referring to is called the Eustachian tube. This tube is part of the middle ear system of the peripheral hearing pathways.
The pathways are:
1. Pinna (ear flap) and outer ear canal. This system funnels sound waves into the ear canal to the tympanic membrane (ear drum).
2. Middle ear system; which contains the ossicles, the 3 smallest bones in your body; and your Eustachian tube. This tube leads to your nose and throat, hence Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) speciality. This system amplifies the sound waves along the bones to the inner ear, cochlea (hearing organ).
3. Inner ear; which contains your hearing and balance system all leading to the nerves which lead to the brain.
In your case, #2 is what sounds like is causing your hearing and fullness concerns, however the imbalance would relate to #3, in particular the balance portion of the inner ear. I would recommend an audiogram (hearing test) and tympanometry (test of the middle ear system) to help with diagnosis and management of your concerns. An ENT can provide medical opinion and management as your symptoms all lead to this specialist.
REgarding the imbalance: A balance test would only be recommended after questions by your GP or ENT are covered as they would order the test (done by a vestibular audiologist or neuro-vestibular physiotherapist).
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