Latest posts by Duane L. Smelser (see all)
- Acupuncture for Hearing Loss & Tinnitus: Does it Really Work? - 2019-12-01
- Studies on Hearing Loss & Injuries - 2019-11-28
- Hearing Loss Cures of the Past - 2019-11-23
Throughout history, thousands of experts have tried to cure hearing loss. Hearing loss is not always a simple issue, but historically, people have taken simple approaches to solve the problem. Even licensed doctors used to try and take shortcuts to solve the problem with little to no regard for the patient’s safety; not like today.
Hearing loss can be either sensorineural and caused by aging, injury, stroke, obesity, genetics, or other conditions that affect the human body; or it can be conductive and caused by obstructions directly affected the ears, like infections, pus buildup, wax buildup, foreign objects lodged in the ear, or abnormal growths.
Whatever the cause, curing hearing loss a few centuries were an exercise in creativity. The things doctors and scientists used to come up with easily rivaled the superstitious cures in weirdness. Trying to cure deafness and progressive hearing loss started thousands of years ago, during the age of magic and rituals.
Back then, there was little to nothing they could do other than perform rituals or learn to live with. Surprisingly, ancient civilizations were more advanced than the world in the 1900s, as they learned that sometimes, people just have to live with their conditions. In the 1800 and 1900s, no one wanted to accept deafness as a lifelong condition. People did whatever they had to try and cure deafness. None of it worked.
Looking at some of the things people used to do, it begs the question, ‘were these people’s intentions good?’ Some of the “cures” involved sticking and pouring things into the ear, which isn’t so bad. Of course, people used to stick twigs in their ears, believing that if they left them all day than their deafness would be cured. There are also stories about pouring pork fat and bear fat into people’s ears.
The comical cures didn’t stop at sticking and pouring things into the ear. At one point, people also believed that jumping from a really high height could “pop” the deafness away. There are many stories about people being taken to specialized healers and priests and having rituals and prayers performed on their behalf. Ritual and prayer magic still exist today, and so does hypnosis; all of which are considered cures in the underground curative world.
Things started getting darker as science learned more about hearing loss. It started with contraptions in the late 1800s. People with all sorts of conditions were strapped into something or had something strapped onto them and forced to walk around town with a contraption on their heads. The contraptions never came close to working, but people seeing others wearing those contraptions got a laugh out of it.
Medicine started getting worse when electromedicine was “discovered”. The heyday of shock therapies brought a lot of pain to a lot of people. Even Beethoven was subjected to electrocution in a procedure called galvanism. They hoped the electrical current would stimulate his auditory canal and cure his tinnitus.
Side note: they didn’t know Beethoven had tinnitus at that time.
After the contraption phase, science got more aggressive. It mixed with old superstitions and created an entirely new era of medicine. That new era of medicine brought about prescribed bloodletting and blistering. Bloodletting is the practice of cutting the body and letting the patient bleed until they’re “cured”. Blistering is a similar practice, only the doctor uses caustic plaster to blister the skin and let the pus seep out until the patient is “cured”.
Modern false cures aren’t so aggressive; they focus more on swindling people out of their money. Today, stores and websites sell things like hearing loss pills and personal sound amplification devices. None of that stuff is tested and proven, and even the companies manufacturing those gimmicks admit that few people ever experience the promised results.
No… there are no quick fixes to hearing loss or curing deafness. The only way to restore hearing is to see an otolaryngologist. Only a licensed, professional hearing specialist can help solve hearing loss problems. They’re the only ones who can prescribe real hearing aids instead of those fake aids scammers sell on TV.