Obesity can lead to eustachian tube dysfunction because an obese person can develop fatty deposits in or around the ears and inside around the eustachian tubes. The fat deposits can actually block the eustachian tubes and prevent fluid from draining properly. This can lead to a buildup of pressure next to the eardrum and in the ear canal.
It can be painful and make it easier for the ears to become infected. While the infection may be treated with antibiotics and pain medications, the fluid will continue to build up in the ears as long as the eustachian tubes are blocked by the fat deposits. The only way to treat the problem is for the obese person to lose weight. If weight loss is not an option or if the sufferer wishes to find relief faster, surgery may be possible. Even with surgery the fatty deposits can grow back and block the tubes again.