Hearing Loss Cures of the Past

Hearing Loss Cures of the Past

In Hearing Health, Hearing Loss, Informative by Christa N. Smith, Au.D., CCC-A

Christa N. Smith, Au.D., CCC-A
Latest posts by Christa N. Smith, Au.D., CCC-A (see all)

Treatments for hearing loss, like all medical technology, has come a long way in the past 20 years, with state-of-the-art hearing aids, making it easier for you to hear your loved ones and connect to the life you love. However, as we look further back in time it becomes clear just how far we have come. Here are some “cures” from the past that just make us grateful we live in the time we do now.

Putting Things in the Ear to Cure Hearing Loss

Today we know that unless you are a medical practitioner who knows what they are doing, you should never insert anything in the ear smaller than your elbow. That is to say—stay out of your ears! However, it took many people in the past to learn this the hard way. In fact, one of the most famous people with hearing loss in recent history is Beethoven (1770–1827). In fact some of his most noted works today were composed during the last 10 years of his life, when he was quite unable to hear. One of the cures which was implemented to help with this important composer’s ability to hear was instructions of inserting almond oil. Even more alarming, one physical of the day prescribed frying peach pits in hog lard, which was dropped in the ear. Today we sometimes recommend a few drops of mineral oil in the ear to loosen earwax but this must be done sparingly.

 

Another popular and disastrous failed cure of later days was to put a twig into the ear, and keep it there at all times until the hearing loss disappeared. Meanwhile others recommended a vibrating contraption that would stimulate the nerves in the ear to reawaken the ability to hear- an optimistic but failed remedy to be sure!

Blistering of the Ear

Many physicians attempted to remedy hearing loss by causing intentional blistering in the inner ear by inserting plaster into the ear canal! No! no! no! don’t try this ever! When the painful blisters popped and pus oozed from the ear, the researchers speculated that toxins causing hearing loss were actively draining from the body, ultimately curing hearing loss. Our ear canals house very fragile components and it’s likely that this practice further worsened symptoms. 

Past Actions Which Were Recommended to Cure Hearing Loss

Don’t stick anything in your ears. Also, if time travel is invented and a doctor from the past come to tell you to do any of their medical advice from the past, don’t listen! This includes climbing to a high place and jumping. Doctors of the past believed that the fall, which might result in broken bones or even death, may also reverse hearing loss. IDK? Don’t try it! 

 

Another common belief which was applied to just about everything bloodletting. Bloodletting was used for hundreds of years to help cure illness and restore health, through the 19th century and practiced as late as the 1920s. Doctors of the past prescribed bloodletting to relieve pressure in the ears and cure hearing loss.

Modern Cures for Hearing Loss

We’ve come a long way but not everyone is with us. Even today there are many methods for addressing hearing loss that we wouldn’t recommend. One modern cure for hearing loss is hypnosis. If this works for you, more power to you, but it by no means has been clinically proven. Others look to vitamin and mineral supplements to restore hearing. While vitamins and minerals can help to support the functions of the body, preventing hearing loss cannot restore hearing damage that has already occurred. 

Treating Hearing Loss

Today, in part thanks to mistakes of the past, we have a greater idea of how hearing works and this allows us to treat it safer and more effectively. While even today there is no way to reverse hearing loss, we can treat it using hearing aids. These modern marvels continue to lead the way in digital micro processing, amplifying the sounds you struggle with so you can hear the people and world around you. If you have been struggling with hearing loss, don’t look to the past. Today there are so many treatments and options for people with hearing loss and there is no time better than now to take action! Contact us today for a hearing exam and consultation.