Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Stupid Eustachian tube tricks

From Wikipedia:

Some people are born with an ability to voluntarily contract just these muscles called Voluntary Tubal Opening, similar to the ability of those who can wiggle their ears. Those who have this ability can hear "pop" or "click" sound in the middle ear when actuating these muscles, and are able to hold the muscle contraction (some refer to this as 'clicking your ears to equalize the pressure').[citation needed] Doing so will make one's voice sound louder to oneself. This ability allows such people to voluntarily equalize pressures at will when making rapid ascents or descents, typically in aircraft flights or large elevation changes in either tall buildings or mountainous treks.
I am one of these people, although clearing my ears without swallowing wasn't something I was aware I could do until I took SCUBA classes some years ago. When I do this it makes a click loud enough that my wife can hear it if she puts her head close to mine. Unfortunately this doesn't seem to help in clearing a lingering ear infection, as I can't currently get my left ear to click.


jte said...

I think maybe I can do this too but I'm not sure how to know if what I'm doing is what you're talking about. I can't really hold it for a long time, and it doesn't sound like "click" or "pop" to me. More of a squeezy and crunchy sound. Also, when I read the title of the post, I got eustachian tubes mixed up with fallopian tubes and was expecting a different kind of trick. I can't do any fallopian tube tricks no matter how hard I try.

Dan Levitis said...

Humans do have a lot tubes don't we? It often becomes important to be able to tell which one is which.