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Old 01-19-2018, 01:49 PM
Jim B. Jim B. is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 1,795
Don't Use the Valsalva Technique (If You Have a Cold)!

I have a really bad cold now. And it got me to thinking about a Cecil Adams column I once read.

Anyway, after doing a Google search, I guess it must have been this .

Mr. Adams mentions how Dr. Valsalva recommended it for puss and presumably mucus too. Actually that is a horrible idea!

Doing so only forces the slime back into your ear, where it just has to drain out again. I do it all the time, because it is so tempting. But resist the urge.

The human body is actually surprisingly self-regulating. So if you just give it time, your body should actually resolve the matter on its own. If it gets really bad, though, see a doctor and take a decongestant. But never use the Valsalva method.

Actually, though, upon closer examination, the article is about ear drums popping due to change in pressure. And I guess it might be safe for that. I honestly don't know. But the article at least references Valsalva's original purpose, which is all-around a bad idea, as I said.

"Love takes no less than everything." (from "Love Is", a duet by Vanessa Williams and Brian McKnight)
Old 01-19-2018, 02:30 PM
TubaDiva TubaDiva is offline
Capo di tutti capi
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: In the land of OO-bla-dee
Posts: 10,745
Speaking of Cecil's columns, did you see this?

Dear Cecil:

Scientifically speaking, is music universal? If some advanced extraterrestrial came to earth, would he recognize our music?

Jim B., via the Straight Dope Message Board
Old 01-19-2018, 08:22 PM
Chimera Chimera is offline
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: In the Dreaming
Posts: 24,090
The only time I'd heard that term before.
Have lost my patience with the refusal to moderate trolls and hate on this board and am taking a break.
Old 02-04-2018, 04:55 AM
BigT BigT is online now
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: "Hicksville", Ark.
Posts: 34,205
If I do it while I'm sick, it's just to make it where I can hear. It's a trade off, because the extra pressure hurts, and, when I'm sick, I can't do the "swallowing" thing to equalize the pressure. It doesn't work because things are swelled up, I presume.

Still, sometimes the sounds are just too muffled and I need to be able to hear. So I take the trade-off. Though I try to push as little as necessary. It doesn't take much.

(I am also sometimes tempted to do it to check the progress of an illness, but that indeed does backfire. If I'm close to being done with it, I'll be able to "swallow" and equalize the pressure. If I'm not, then I won't, and I'll have a headache around my ears for a while.)

Last edited by BigT; 02-04-2018 at 04:56 AM.


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