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Patient information on Middle Ear Aeration Techniques
Who is this information for?
This information is for patients, families and carers to who have been advised to use middle ear
What is the Eustachian tube?
The Eustachian tube connects the middle ear to the back of the nose, and should open and close
automatically to allow air to enter the middle ear. If it does not open and close enough it can
cause symptoms of Eustachian tube dysfunction such as a blocked feeling or reduced hearing, the
sensation of pressure or popping.
What are middle ear aeration techniques?
Exercises to let air into the middle ear by nasal balloon and/or swallowing techniques.
In mild to moderate cases of Eustachian tube dysfunction, the suggested techniques may:
- Improve hearing
- Avoid the need for the insertion of middle ear ventilation tubes
People with severe Eustachian tube dysfunction may find that none of these techniques succeed.
How do you do the exercises?
- Regular vigorous nose blowing and/or yawning/swallowing movements.
- Avoid sniffing because this tends to move air from the middle ears down to the Eustachiantubes.
- Combine nose blowing and swallowing – swallowing tends to open the Eustachian tubewhich then allows extra pressure to push air into the middle ear:
- pinch the nose and continue to blow the nose while swallowing
- you may experience mild discomfort but stop is severe pain occurs
How do I use the nasal balloon?
Follow the instructions on the balloon leaflet.
N.B. MEG do not have any affiliations with any pharmaceutical companies or brands
How do I do the nasal balloon plus swallowing exercise?
When water is swallowed while there is air in the balloon, the eustachian tube is more likely to
open and allow extra air up the eustachian tube to the middle ear:
- Hold some water in the mouth
- Breathe in fully through the nose
- Hold one side of the nose closed and blow up the balloon via the nozzle using the otherside of the nose
- With the balloon still blown up, swallow the water
- Wait about 5 seconds then remove the balloon from the nose
How often should the exercises be done?
Try to do the exercises several times throughout the day – different exercises can be done at
different times to suit you.
Concerns or questions?
You can contact your ENT Specialist at the Melbourne ENT Group (MEG):
Your GP is also the best contact for ongoing care and concerns.