Study of toynbee phenomenon by combined intranasopharyngeal and tympanometric measurements

Yehuda Finkelstein*, Yuval Zohar, Yoav P. Talmi, Nelu Laurian

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Toynbee maneuver, swallowing when the nose is obstructed, leads in most cases to pressure changes in one or both middle ears, resulting in a sensation of fullness. Since first described, many varying and contradictory comments have been reported in the literature concerning the type and amount of pressure changes both in the nasopharynx and in the middle ear. In our study, the pressure changes were determined by catheters placed into the nasopharynx and repeated tympanometric measurements. New information concerning the rapid pressure variations in the nasopharynx and middle ear during deglutition with an obstructed nose was obtained. Typical individual nasopharyngeal pressure change patterns were recorded, ranging from a maximal positive pressure of + 450 to a negative pressure as low as −320 mm H2O.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-206
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1988
Externally publishedYes


  • Toynbee maneuver
  • Toynbee phenomenon
  • eustachian tube
  • middle ear pressure
  • nasal pressure equalization tube
  • nasopharyngeal pressure


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