Sinus Pressure – Pop Goes Your Eardrum

Welcome to All Sensors “Put the Pressure on Us” blog. This blog brings out pressure sensor aspects in a variety of applications inspired by headlines, consumer and industry requirements, market research, government activities, and you.

Sinus Pressure – Pop Goes Your Eardrum

A sinus infection or sinusitis can result in headaches, sinus pressure and other symptoms including ear and teeth pain. There are treatments for sinusitis and immediate approaches for the ears. To relieve the ear pressure, 8 ways to pop your ears, include:

      1. Swallowing
      2. Yawning
      3. Valsalva maneuver
      4. Toynbee maneuver
      5. Applying a warm washcloth
      6. Nasal decongestants
      7. Nasal corticosteroids
      8. Ventilation tubes

Two of these specifically address the pressure aspect.

Diagram of the Inner Ear | Chad Ruffin, MD

Image courtesy of Chad Ruffin, MD

In the Valsalva maneuver, the individual should pinch their nostrils closed with their fingers. With the cheeks in a neutral, or pulled in position, they should blow air gently through their nostrils. This process generates pressure in the back of the nose to help open the Eustachian tube, the passageway that connects the throat to the middle ear.

Inserting ventilation tubes, or pressure equalizing (PE) tubes into one or both ears can drain out excess fluid.

While it might be interesting to know the value of the pressure, in this case, the more important aspect is relieving it.

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The Pressure in an Air Cannon

Welcome to All Sensors “Put the Pressure on Us” blog. This blog brings out pressure sensor aspects in a variety of applications inspired by headlines, consumer and industry requirements, market research, government activities, and you.

The Pressure in an Air Cannon

A compressed air cannon may sound a little weird, but it’s surprising what a sudden pulse of air can do. For simply having fun, the AirZooka can blow a harmless ball of air up to 20 feet. Also for play is the Zero Blaster that launches 2-to-6-inch diameter non-toxic fog rings, which travel up to 14 feet. The fog allows the user and observers to see the toroid shape of the pressure pulse.

AirZooka Air Gun

Image Source: AirZooka on Amazon

The sudden release of a diaphragm allows pressure to build inside a chamber. With a restriction on the opposite end the pressure is increased according to Boyle’s law (P1 x V1 = P2 x V2).

One do-it yourself website for an air-powered cannon recommends attaching a bicycle pump or air compressor to build up pressure to 50-80 psi on a design that uses water pipe in a sealed chamber with a release valve. Depending on the design, air cannons are also used to launch potatoes, tennis balls and other stuff.

The world’s largest air cannon, built in the Czech Republic in collaboration with the TV show “Wonders of Nature,” can shoot air more than 300 feet. Its effectiveness was demonstrated by knocking down a wall of cardboard boxes. Smoke added to the pulse shows the toroid shape of the moving air.

Popular Mechanics Air Cannon DemoImage source: Popular Mechanics

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The Pressure for Water Conservation

Welcome to All Sensors “Put the Pressure on Us” blog. This blog brings out pressure sensor aspects in a variety of applications inspired by headlines, consumer and industry requirements, market research, government activities, and you.

The Pressure for Water Conservation

A compressed air-assisted flush water tank can consume 20% to 38% less water on average than a 1.6 gallon per flush (gpf) gravity toilet. Pressure-assisted or power flush toilets use a tank-in-tank design to propel additional water (i.e., 70 gallon per minute peak flow) into the bowl with each flush. The pressure-assisted flush system uses the existing pressure energy of the water supply to significantly improve toilet performance and minimize double flushes to clear waste.

In this design, when supply line water fills the compressed air-assisted flush water tank, the air is trapped and compressed. The air pressure builds until it is approximately equal to the water supply line pressure. At this point, the water flow stops and the compressed air-assisted flush water tank is ready for the next flush. Since it uses the same basic water supply pressure (20–25 psi or higher) as a conventional gravity-fed toilet, the developed air pressure is 20–25 psi or higher (minus the height of the water in the gravity-fed tank). The increased pressure pushes waste up to 33% further down the drain than the recommendations set by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

Uncompressed vs compressed air mechanism. Image courtesy of Flushmate.

Uncompressed vs compressed air mechanism. Image courtesy of Flushmate.

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Pressure for Oxygen Therapy

Welcome to All Sensors “Put the Pressure on Us” blog. This blog brings out pressure sensor aspects in a variety of applications inspired by headlines, consumer and industry requirements, market research, government activities, and you.

Pressure for Oxygen Therapy

Patients short of breath may need an oxygen concentrator to provide sufficient oxygen to make their breathing easier. Underlying health issues that could require the extra oxygen or oxygen therapy include asthma, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the flu and, most recently, COVID-19. Without requiring oxygen stored in tanks or containers, oxygen concentrators provide a continuous supply of oxygen that comes from the surrounding air.

Modern oxygen concentrators delivering about five to 10 liters of the gas per minute, typically at about 93% purity, are designed for either stationary (home) or portable usage. While a home oxygen concentrator may weigh less than 20 pounds, many portable oxygen concentrator models weigh less than 5 pounds.

Oxygen Concentrator

The oxygen concentrator uses a pump to compress the oxygen, filters or sieves to separate out nitrogen and other impurities, and pressure reducers to provide low pressure oxygen for patients to breath. With varying pressures and flow rates, different pressure sensors can be used at various points in the system. Any of the sensors for portable units need to be both small and light weight making microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) sensors ideal for these applications.

The low differential pressure measurements for flow are typically only a few kPA. Essentially, any of All Sensors DLHR, DLVR, ELVR, ELV and MLV series products that have respiratory pressure ranges will work for O2 concentrators in these ultra-low pressure applications.

All Sensors E1NJ Package

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