The Vasalva Maneuver and your Hearing Health
Many people when diving or during the descent of an airplane may feel pressure in their middle ears which can be very painful. The reason for this is because the Eustachian tubes (shown in the image above) remain closed due to the pressure, preventing an even distribution of pressure across the ear drum. In an effort to stop this discomforting feeling, many techniques are performed such as yawning, swallowing or the Vasalva Maneuver which help equalize middle ear pressure.
In this article we will discuss the Vasalva Maneuver and the effects it might have on your hearing health. The maneuver was named after Antonio Vasalva who, in the 1700’s, was the first one to record this technique. The nostrils are pinched closed which allows for pressure to be increased in the chest. It is followed by trying to blow out of the closed nostrils maintaining the cheek muscles retracted. The results of this technique is equalized pressurization of the middle ear.
There are risks associated with this technique which may lead to hearing damage and hearing loss. When trying to equalize the pressure of the middle ear it may result with over pressurization. This may lead to the inflammation of the tissues around the Eustachian tubes.
If, after performing this maneuver, you feel you may have affected your hearing health in a negative way, don’t hesitate to visit your local Miami Hearing center, where an audiologist such as Dr. Joseph Duran will be able to diagnose the damage your hearing might have incurred.