Politzerization, also called the Politzer maneuver or method, is a medical procedure that involves inflating the middle ear by blowing air up the nose during the act of swallowing. It is often performed to reopen the Eustachian tube and equalise pressure in the sinuses.
The procedure was derived from a medical experiment first performed by Ádám Politzer of Vienna that involved studying the air movement through the Eustachian tube by connecting a manometer to the external auditory canal meatus and another manometer in the pharynx. His first results on the technique were published in 1861 and he introduced a pear-shaped rubber air-bag for performing the procedure in 1863, which came to be known as a Politzer bag. This system was far more practical and less difficult for the patient than catheterizing the Eustachian tube and brought fame to Politzer.
Use in clinical devices
One device that utilizes Politzeration is the EarPopper, developed by Shlomo Silman, Ph.D., professor of hearing sciences and audiology at Brooklyn College, CUNY, and otolaryngologist Daniel Arick, M.D. The EarPopper is a hand-held, battery-operated device that delivers controlled air flow through the nostril and can be used by the patient without medical supervision. Clinical studies have demonstrated the device's efficacy in the treatment of ear blockage caused by Eustachian tube dysfunction and otitis media with effusion.
- Silman & Arick: "Efficacy of a Modified Politzer Apparatus in Management of Eustachian Tube Dysfunction in Adults", Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, October 1999; Volume 10, No. 9
- Daniel S. Arick, MD, FACS; Shlomo Silman, PhD: "Nonsurgical home treatment of middle ear effusion and associated hearing loss in children. Part I: Clinical trial and Part II: Validation study", ENT-Ear, Nose & Throat Journal, September 2005 • Volume 84, Number 9
- "Adam Politzer". American Academy of Otolaryngology−Head and Neck Surgery. Retrieved February 2, 2005.
- "Politzerization". Dorlands Medical Dictionary. Retrieved February 2, 2005.
- "Politzer' Method". Dorlands Medical Dictionary. Retrieved February 2, 2005.
- Adam Politzer. ENTLink.
- Mudry, A. The Role of Adam Politzer in the History of Otology. Am. J. Otol. 21:753-763, 2000.
- Website of the EarPopper medical device, www.earpopper.com