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ikoiko
12-27-2009, 07:19 AM
....not sure the right phrasing for this....

I was told years and years ago it is a good idea to hold my nose and gently force air out until the ears give way.
I do it all the time and it helps my hearing.

Recently I asked my audiologist about it and she said it is not a good idea....

thoughts?

hearnow
12-27-2009, 08:27 AM
....not sure the right phrasing for this....

I was told years and years ago it is a good idea to hold my nose and gently force air out until the ears give way.
I do it all the time and it helps my hearing.

Recently I asked my audiologist about it and she said it is not a good idea....

thoughts?

Essentially you are just pressurising your middle ears, which can give temporarily improved hearing as the middle ear in over inflated and the ear drum extra tight and more sensitive to sound vibrations. This over inflation clears as soon as you swallow or chew and Eustachian tube re-equalises to keep the pressure in the middle ear the same as in the ear canal. The problem with doing this is you might actuallyforce bacteria into your middle ears at times (when you have a cold etc.), which raises the risk of middle ear infection. You could also possibly make the Eustachina tubes flacid by forcing air through them them all the time, causing problems later on,although I unsure how likely this would be to happen.

Hask12
12-28-2009, 04:46 PM
For some reason this just doesn't sound like a good thing to do.

ikoiko
12-31-2009, 07:13 AM
Hearnow,
Thanks for the reply and makes sense. It does help for a few minutes, like you said.

I have not done it as much as I use to; although i did do when I flew*

Thanks,

C

*I actually was a passenger in an airplane, I can not fly without the airplane.

hearnow
01-01-2010, 04:23 AM
Hearnow,

*I actually was a passenger in an airplane, I can not fly without the airplane.

Now that would have been a very interesting matter on its own :)

Happyy New Year

Eddie
01-02-2010, 12:14 AM
Well, I do the same thing. I have to do it or I wouldn't be able to hear anything.

RoseRodent
02-22-2010, 05:47 AM
Maybe some of the same people who find this helpful would be helped by these ear popping things that blow air up your nose for you to swallow? I am not sure how and why those are safer, I am trying to understand the mechanism involved but I don't get it. Just thinking that if you get good relief from blowing out your ears maybe these devices are worth a thought.

Anyway, I was just originally going to say don't do this to try to blow out high pressures like after flying cos if it's not successful you perforate your eardrum instead...

Hask12
04-17-2010, 12:33 PM
Try chewing gum.

jcphz
05-06-2010, 11:46 AM
Here is a link to Wikipedia on the Valsalva Maneuver, what you are all talking about, hope it helps. I say try it lightly, it should work immediately. If not try swallowing.

If this is something that is persistent and bothersome talk with an primary care doctor or otolaryngologist. Or sometimes just a simple decongestant helps clear up the eustachian tube.

RoseRodent
06-15-2010, 06:07 AM
The other day I put in my hearing aids and my ear felt sore with pressure. This happens reasonably frequently because I have full domes, and sometimes a bit too much air gets squashed in under them, or else they start to pull out and I can feel them drag on my eardrum. So I thought I would equalise the pressure by doing this maneouvre. Must have been the wrong way, I added more pressure instead of taking some away or whatever, but it was absolute agony and I ripped the aid straight out of my ear and it was ringing for hours.

So I guess what I am saying is go carefully doing anything to a faulty pair of ears!

doramider7
09-11-2010, 05:05 AM
For some reason this just doesn't sound like a good thing to do.
Thanks for the reply and makes sense. It does help for a few minutes, like you said.

I have not done it as much as I use to; although i did do when I flew*

hamjor
09-11-2010, 09:52 AM
I've done this Valsalva Maneuver many times particularly while flying. It's best to be very gentle while doing it, i.e., not blowing forcefully.

But one time I did this while descending after a long overseas flight, and it caused a serious problem for me. I was already in great pain from pressure buildup inside the ear before I started trying to do it. None of the swallowing or jaw-movement tricks that often help (and should always be tried first) gave any relief. It probably didn't help that I'd been up in the Alps at elevations ranging from 8,000 - 14,000 feet for a week before coming down to Zurich and then flying home. Anyway, I don't know what I did wrong, but the already-bad pain in one ear increased greatly when I pinched my nose and blew gently, and I had a strong sensation of the airplane spinning out of control for about 30 seconds even though it was flying A-OK. Good thing I wasn't the pilot at the time! It took several days to feel better. Clearly I'd caused a serious problem for my middle ear doing this.

After that disquieting experience, I started taking pediatric nasal decongestant spray along with me on the plane. People advised spraying just before take-off to prevent pressure build-up, and mostly, this worked very well. Now I'm on high blood pressure medicine, and all those sprays are forbidden to me, because they contain epinephrine derivatives that temporarily raise blood pressure. Also, decongestant spray users should know that many doctors say using those sprays for more than a day or two consecutively will cause serious and very unpleasant rebound-congestive symptoms. I now think most people should not use those sprays, and I no longer do.

But I'm very careful now before trying a Valsalva Maneuver. The combined sensations of dizzy spinning and increased pain were not something I ever want to repeat.

Johnson360
09-21-2010, 08:10 PM
I did that whenever I loose breath in diving under water, it hurts but its necessary to recover from being drown.

darylm
01-31-2011, 12:40 AM
I'm a scuba diver and this is standard practice when scuba diving. When you submerge, you have to equalize your ears every couple of meters to prevent the ear drum from collapsing. When you surface, the air that you previously forced into your middle ear bubbles back out. As long as you are careful, you won't hurt your ears doing this. Being able to do this is a great help if you fly a lot, as it reduces the possibility of barotrauma from blocked Eustachian tubes.

Drez
02-03-2011, 03:03 PM
As mentioned, called the Valsalva Maneuver and its not harmful as long as you dont try to blow too hard. You basically pushing aid through your eustachian tube (ET) and balancing the pressure in the middle ear cavity and outside. Blowing too hard can rupture the drum among other things but so long as its gentle no worries.


I'm a scuba diver and this is standard practice when scuba diving. When you submerge, you have to equalize your ears every couple of meters to prevent the ear drum from collapsing. When you surface, the air that you previously forced into your middle ear bubbles back out. As long as you are careful, you won't hurt your ears doing this. Being able to do this is a great help if you fly a lot, as it reduces the possibility of barotrauma from blocked Eustachian tubes.

I also dive and what you say true but it is important to not the situation is a little different on land. In diving the outside pressure becomes great because water is much denser than aid and any air w/in your body compresses. Thus, as you mentioned you add more air to the middle ear cavity to combat the building pressure. Doing it on the surface with the same amount of force can be too much because there is usually not the same amount of force as a couple meters of water (i.e. ~0.5ATM)

For the record, swallowing/chewing often leads to the same result as a Valsalva Maneuver but is helpful in the reverse situation. It too opens the ET, but where the Valsalva forces air up the ET (helpful when outside pressure is great and internal pressure is less) swallowing can solve positive pressure problems that the Valsalva would only add too. This is most helpful when flying.

darylm
03-05-2011, 06:59 PM
As mentioned, called the Valsalva Maneuver and its not harmful as long as you dont try to blow too hard. You basically pushing aid through your eustachian tube (ET) and balancing the pressure in the middle ear cavity and outside. Blowing too hard can rupture the drum among other things but so long as its gentle no worries.



I also dive and what you say true but it is important to not the situation is a little different on land. In diving the outside pressure becomes great because water is much denser than aid and any air w/in your body compresses. Thus, as you mentioned you add more air to the middle ear cavity to combat the building pressure. Doing it on the surface with the same amount of force can be too much because there is usually not the same amount of force as a couple meters of water (i.e. ~0.5ATM)

For the record, swallowing/chewing often leads to the same result as a Valsalva Maneuver but is helpful in the reverse situation. It too opens the ET, but where the Valsalva forces air up the ET (helpful when outside pressure is great and internal pressure is less) swallowing can solve positive pressure problems that the Valsalva would only add too. This is most helpful when flying.When you are submerging, you typically equalize every breath, which corresponds to a fraction of an atm (1 atm corresponds to 10 m or 33 ft). When you surface, the air normally bubbles out of the middle ear on its own, except for the rare occasions of reverse squeeze. The reason for this is anatomical. Air comes out of the middle ear easier than it goes in.

The analogy to flying is exactly the same. When the aircraft is ascending, it is very rare for people to have a problem, for the same reason that scuba divers rarely experience reverse squeeze. However, it is quite common when the aircraft is descending, particularly on a longer flight because the middle ear equalizes on its own to the reduced pressure. Most airliners are pressurized to 7500 ft which is noticably less than 1 atm (i.e., sea level).

Being able to equalize is a great help if you are unlucky enough to experience this problem on descent. As long as you do it gently, there is little risk of damaging your ear. The likelihood of damage from NOT being able to equalize after a long flight is greater than doing nothing. Before I started diving, one of my ears was blocked during a long flight and the eardrum was completely collapsed after a descent. It was very painful and I had to go into an ENT. He taught me to equalize and I was very surprised at how hard I had to blow to equalize my ear. I never blow that hard when diving.

ruby.yeager
02-16-2012, 02:39 AM
The Valsalva Maneuver is helpful while you are in an airplane. I try doing it at times. But I make sure that I don't hurt my ears. For me, casusing my self to burp also helps.

ambrosia
06-02-2012, 04:32 PM
I do this 50 times a day, ok I may be exaggerating, but I do it A LOT. I think it's my otosclerosis though. One of the tests they do for it is they put this things n your ears that blows air in them, or something like that, and measures how well your ears adjust to the pressure change. if you have otosclerosis, they'll have a hard time. I don't even have to go up a hill, my ears are constantly off and I have to pop my ears. I do this gently (if air comes out your eye you're doing it waaay to hard) and til i get them popped everything sounds like I'm inside a bubble.

jay_man2
06-02-2012, 07:29 PM
For me it's eustachian tube dysfunction. That's what causes the negative pressures in that pressure test in my situation.

NeilHarries
09-08-2012, 02:16 PM
I used to do it lots of times a day, although now I have got out of the habit. It felt as though I could only hear properly for a short period after doing it.

sho
04-22-2013, 04:27 PM
When I was a kid I used to fly quite a bit traveling between my parents. This was way back when pressurized cabins aren't what they are today. Instead of holding my nose and blowing I finally got to where I could flex the muscles in my neck and jaw, actually jutting my jaw forward and then flexing the muscles in my neck. It immediately opens the eustacean tubes and equalizes the pressure. Should give you something to fool with the next couple of hours. LOL Works for me. Eventually when you get used to feeling the muscles flex you can do it without the jaw jutting.

arupert
04-22-2013, 05:23 PM
I have done this all my life for my left ear. I can hear much better afterward, and even if I swallow or chew gum, I can still hear louder for quite a while. I don't really notice exactly when I need to do it again, so I guess the pressure in my middle ear goes down very gradually. If I yawn it also does the same thing sometimes. When descending in an airplane, I do it frequently, which helps a lot.

zip
05-20-2013, 10:29 PM
I recently had a Cholosteotoma removed and the surgeon told me to never pop my ears if I could help it. He even said to sneeze with my mouth open into a hanky or tissue. Im not sure if he meant that because I had surgery or for any reason.

seb
05-21-2013, 03:01 AM
Zip,
I recently broke my back and several ribs and found out that sneezing with my mouth open took away most of the force of the sneeze relieving most of the pain a normal sneeze would cause. I also found out that only standing on one leg relieved even more force from a sneeze. When you have a broken back and broken ribs you look for anything to relieve the pain of a sneeze.

Um bongo
05-21-2013, 03:39 AM
I recently had a Cholosteotoma removed and the surgeon told me to never pop my ears if I could help it. He even said to sneeze with my mouth open into a hanky or tissue. Im not sure if he meant that because I had surgery or for any reason.

It's good advice for everybody: all you end up doing otherwise is forcing bacteria into your middle ear cavity and putting unnecessary pressure on your eardrums.