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Valsalva Maneuver


A Valsalva maneuver is an effort to exhale without letting air escape through the nose or mouth. People often use a Valsalva maneuver during some common activities, such as straining to have a bowel movement or blowing a stuffy nose.

A Valsalva maneuver is not normally harmful but it may cause irregular heart rhythms in some people who have certain types of heart disease.

A person may be asked to do a Valsalva maneuver during certain medical tests or exams. During the test, a person is asked to try to breathe using the stomach muscles and diaphragm but not let any air out through the nose or mouth.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerJohn M. Miller, MD - Electrophysiology
Last RevisedAugust 9, 2010

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