Eustachian Tube Effect

I have moderate hearing loss (60db) in the mid-ranges. Before buying HAs I noticed while driving one day that upon gently clearing my eustachian tubes I suddenly could hear my turn-signal clicker. I did not have a cold or stuffy nose at the time, nor was I changing elevation; I simply held my nose and gently blew.

Upon further experimenting I discovered that conversations conducted under difficult conditions were much more intelligible if I performed this action, or if I just did an ear-clicking (closed-mouth) 'yawn ’ every 20 or 30 seconds.

After buying my new Siemens Intuis (vented) cic hearing aids I found that I could still utilize this action to further enhance conversational understanding and temporarily increase perceived volume. I’m wondering if others have discovered this effect, and whether any audiologists out there have heard similar comments from patients.

never heard of this,
i have fitted 5,000+ aids in the last 4 yrs


But you’ve never held your nostrils closed and tried to blow your nose.

You’re equalizing the pressure in your eustachian tubes by doing this. I do it daily or twice daily, and experience the same thing as the OP. That’s why you chew gum in an airplane, to equalize the pressure and prevent ear pain while flying.

RHiggs: I have a severe cookie bite loss and I have experienced this many times.

Driving up into the mountains of western Maryland, elevation to 2900 feet, my hearing goes to zero for a while. After a half an hour and repeated attempts to clear my Eustachian tubes my hearing returns but not fully. After 24 hours though, the hearing returns to the usual.

Also, experienced this on airplanes.

By the way, how do you like your Intuis. I have the Intuis BTE SP Dir and have found them remarkably good. Paid only $450 for them. I have many more expensive aids that don’t perform any better. Though, the absence of a Equalizer could be a problem for some with unusual loss curves. Ed

My original posting seems to have been misunderstood by all except for XBULDER (the first replier). I think just about everybody knows about clearing one’s eustachian tubes when you have a cold, or are climbing or descending in an airplane or car. However, my point was that during a normal conversation I can hear much better (clearer) by repeatedly clearing my eustachian tubes with a discrete, ear-clicking yawn (or by using the less discrete nose-pinching method). This works even when there is no apparent reason for my eustachian tubes to be partially blocked.

Reference my Siemens Intuis (vented) cic’s. I’ve had them only one week and they are my first, so I have no reference point for comparison. However, they are not uncomfortable, and I can hear more sounds; I’m just not sure yet whether I can understand conversations better. They are very small (almost invisible). I’ve been back twice for tweeking to reduce the paper-rustling sounds in noisy environments, and they seem to be about right now.

I didn’t misunderstand at all. I explained it for xbulder, and stated that I experience the same effect as you (with my GN Resound Pulse hearing aids). :cool:

If you are experiencing this, have you had a tympanometry test done? It is a very simple test and most audi’s/dispensers have a tympanometer in their office which can sometimes pinpoint the cause of your problem.

I would suggest doing the test without clearing the ears and see if there is positive or negative pressure in the middle ear.

If your audi doesn’t have one, you can always go to most ENT’s who have them or fly out to Hawaii to my office and I can do that for you.

some equipment timpanometers
have test for eustaquian tube…
But i believe those are clinical timps
so your best bet is a ENT

Manufacturing of alabama

I noticed the exact same thing and after a stapedectomy I noticed that cracking my jaw would temporarily give me a boost in sound pressure in the
bad ear. I used it during my last hearing test and did better. It is real…maybe it’s just the eustachian tube collapsing and opening up, but it
does have an affect.

It sounds to me as if the eustachian tube is not functioning properly.

When you yawn or swallow it should open to equalize the pressure within the middle ear versus the outside air pressure. If this does not happen regularly the air pressue in the middle ear can be higher or lower than the outside world, which results in the ear drum being pushed out or sucked in a little bit.

Positive or negative pressure on the ear drum prevents it moving as freely as it should, which results in a temporary hearing loss.

People who already have a hearing loss can therefore have this effect worsen their hearing problem until the pressure equalizes.

Doing the whole ‘nose thing’ can force the eustachian tube to open, and in some cases something as simple as chewing gum or sucking on a hard candy can help too.

The bottom line is that if this is a frequent problem, a patient should go and see an ENT specialist for a full check up on why it is happening. There are various simple procedures that an ENT could perform to determine what is going on. There are some equally simple things the ENT can do to fix the problem.


I really can understand what you experience, for may be 20 years I am aware of this and whenever I am in a critical condition (may be a job meeting or foreign people conversation), I do this to boost my sound gain level, it then becomes much clearer and perceptible for speech discrimination.

However although many people should experience this to some degree, I know this is much more critical for us. Furthermore I would ask you more about this thing, have you ever experienced full off-condition in your ears when yawning? I mean getting nearly no sound at that time, I live this always and wonder is there anyone like me there?

It is exactly shut down for my ears; the deeper yawning, the more clogged they are.