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Question:
If you were to blow too hard when using the Valsalva maneuver method to pop your ears (closing nostrils and blowing), could it damage the eyes? Could the pressure cause the eyes to bulge and could it cause your eyes to change color?   

Answer:
It is generally not recommended that you do this maneuver to open your ear canals as you may forcibly push infected material into the ear space to which the canal connects. Better to yawn, swallow hard and drink fluids to accomplish this. As for the eyes, there is no direct connection between the normal spaces behind the eyes and the nasal cavities so this should not affect the eyes. In the rare instance of a traumatic or pathological connection (I have seen one such case with a connecting mucocele), then blowing the nose in this way can force air and fluid behind the eye. This conceivably could cause some damage to the nerves and vessels that supply the eyes but not to the eye directly—and not in a normal person. There is no way it would cause a change in coloration of the eyes.

Answered by: Richard Bensinger, MD  Dr. Richard Bensinger

Categories: General Eye Health

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Answered: Nov 04, 2012

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