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December 2, 1961

Blowing a Wind Instrument-Reply

JAMA. 1961;178(9):966. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040480096027

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To the Editor:—  I do not agree with Doctor Bennett, that blowing a wind instrument produces a complete occlusion by the soft palate of the nasopharynx. How much of the nasopharynx is closed off depends on individual anatomy. The closure is rarely complete. The amount of pressure transmitted to the eustachian tubes varies also for individuals, and the fact that it does not happen to Doctor Bennett, does not invalidate my statement.Dr. K. M. Simonton in the Questions and Answers section of The Journal (177:534 [Aug. 19] 1961), answers a question on aerotitis media of opening the eustachian orifices and tubes by exhalation against pressure, which is precisely that obtained from blowing a wind instrument. I am sure there are many others who have had like experiences to mine.

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