Easy to Swallow Advice for Patients With Ear Problems

May 1, 2005

Patients with ear problems often pinchtheir nose and blow in an attempt toopen up and clear their ears.

 

Patients with ear problems often pinch their nose and blow in an attempt to open up and clear their ears. However, this blows bacteria, viruses, mucus, and saliva up the eustachian tubes. A safer self-insufflation technique is to pinch the nose and swallow. This technique creates a vacuum in the back of the throat, thereby suctioning fluid out of the middle ear cavity. Instruct patients to perform self-insufflation 20 to 30 times over the course of a day. Caution them against performing all 20 to 30 maneuvers within a short period, because this is less effective.
-Richard Honaker, MD
  Carrollton, Tex

 

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