American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Expiratory effort when the mouth is closed and the nostrils are pinched shut, which forces air into the eustachian tubes and increases pressure on the inside of the eardrum.
- n. Expiratory effort against a closed glottis, which increases pressure within the thoracic cavity and thereby impedes venous return of blood to the heart.
- After Antonio Maria Valsalva (1666-1723), Italian anatomist. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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