I can open/close my eustachian tubes voluntarily - is this unusual?

I’ve been able to do it for as long as I remember (they used to offer sweets on airliners to make you swallow as the plane was ascending/descending and the act of swallowing also usually opens the tubes too, but I can just open them anyway when I want (it makes a sort of soft crackly sound), which other people can hear if they listen closely.

I can do it too.

So how do you do it, mangetout? Does it involve moving your jaw, or swallowing, or flexing your tongue, or flaring your nostrils? Or is it an isolated maneuver which opens your ET’s only? If it’s the latter, I’ve never heard of it before.


it’s the latter QtM, I just do it, I can’t explain how (it’s not part of any other action)

I can do it!

I can do it too… it feels like I’m flexing my tongue, but my tongue doesn’t seem to move.

Can’t everyone do this just by opening their jaws wide and flexing their temples? And yes it does make a soft “crackly” sound.

Many, if not most people can do it like that. I’ve just never heard of being able to do it as an isolated maneuver, not involving use of muscle groups associated with other gestures or grimaces. I’ll have to inquire among my ENT cronies. Meanwhile, it beats the hell out of me.

You can also do it by opening your jaw just a bit with your mouth closed (makes for a funny puckered up face) but I can’t do it without moving my jaw at least a little bit. If you can do it sans any jaw movement you might be “different” [sub]but we already knew that didn’t we now?[/sub]

When I read the subject line, I was thinking of fallopian tubes. :eek: I was also thinking, “And just how the hell do you know you’re doing that?”

I can also do this, without using any muscles,just send a nerve command and hey presto , as fast and often as you like. Always wondered what the fuss was about!Bob c

I can do it too! This is so funny, because I had always kind of wondered the same thing, whether other people can do it, and I’d never encountered any until now. Everybody else I’ve known has to open their mouths to open the eustachian tubes. It feels like I’m moving something in the back of my throat, but not my jaw at all; it’s really impossible to describe it any better than that. It seems like this might just be a talent you’re either born with or not.

Well, that’s the way I do it. Never thought much of it, really. But my mouth, tongue, et al are not involved in the manuever. The muscles involved feel like they are related to those in the very back of my tongue, but my tongue does not move when I do it (near as I can tell.)

I can do this too without opening my mouth, but I do have to move my tongue to do it, so there’s some movement in my jaw. I’m not sure what muscles I’m flexing to do this, but it feels like I’m using my tongue and something directly to the left and right of my tongue too.

I can do it as well without movement of the jaw. I sorta move my tongue to do it, but not in the normal “move” sense… I sorta flatten it.

It has done me no end of goodness between highway driving (rolling up the windows seems to raise pressure quickly-- or is it lowering them lowers it quickly? anyway) and flying, which I have to do a lot for work.

I can do it (at least I think this is what you mean) without moving my jaw, but my eyes have to be closed for it to work. It does sound like white noise, right? I never thought anything of it before this thread.

I can do it too, and like the previous poster I never thought anything about it before. Considering the responses in this thread, it must be quite common.

I can make the white noise phenomenon happen by closing my eyes too, but it doesn’t open my eustachian tubes when I do it.

Since I read this thread, I’ve been trying to open it in one ear only. For some reason, I can do that with only the left ear, but not with only the right one. But anyway, I can blink only with the left eyelid, not with the right one, either…

Been doing it for years. Originally I had to open my mouth and work my jaw, but now I’ve got it down to a nice subtle whatever it is. The muscles seem to be towards the back of my jaw/sides of my toungue, but when I trigger it nothing seems to move. Just get that little white noise/pop.

Comes in particular handy since I fly unpressurized aircraft.

For those really stubborn days there’s always the Valsalva manuver, but if I’m that congested I’m better off not flying anyhow.