EARACHE, like all bone pains, is described by its sufferers as being maddening or excruciating in nature. The technical term is acute middle ear disease and follows on after acute disease as influenza, measles, scarlet fever, etc., or even ordinary tonsillitis or exposure to draughts and strong winds. A common causes nowadays is in motorists: people sitting in salon cars being driven along at speeds of thirty to forty or more miles an hours, all the windows closed except the drivers and a small ventilating opening in the roof; thus the driver and the passenger in the front are sitting in a direct current of cold air which strikes the back of the neck and the ear. Consequence: earache, and frequently a mastoid operation.
How often does one not hear these days of mastoid trouble in the young well-to-do motoring fraternity! And yet how easily could incision of the drum, and the more serious mastoid operation, be avoided if Homoeopathy was used for the early stages of middle ear disease!.
A middle aged woman after a motoring week-end was seen, complaining of pain in left ear, fullness, dullness and muffled sensation in front of ear; touch and pressure made the pain worse. The history of pain after exposure to cold air led one to prescribe Merc. bin. 6 for this lady with very happy results. Not only did the bulging inflamed eardrum return to normal, but also a nasal polypus which was discovered at the same time and of which the patient had not the slightest idea, dried up and disappeared after a months treatment, and the nasal catarrh which had bothered her for months cleared up as well.
She talked of going to an ear specialist and having an operation for polypus; but when the earache disappeared so rapidly she decided to wait until after her summer holiday which was just due; and when she was seen again, there wasnt any polypus left and the surgeon was down out of job. I dont know that she was particularly grateful: people nowadays do like boasting of all the operations they have had; and I shrewdly suspect that she thought in her own mind I had made a mistake in finding a nasal polypus the first time.
While talking of cheating a surgeon out of an operation, it reminds me of another incident which happened many years ago in my childhood days. There was great commotion in the nursery one morning: the little sister had been delirious all night, with flaming hot cheeks and acute earache.
The anxious mother rushed her off at once to the best-known professor of ear diseases in the local university town, who shook his head and talked learnedly of otitis media and a bulging eardrum, and the necessity of incising the drum. The honoured parent, who was a staunch homoeopath, would not hear of it, but begged for twenty- four hours grace. Reluctantly she was allowed to take the child home, with all kinds of dire threats.
Undeterred by all this, she started giving Belladonna 3x in watery solution every half hour, and when the professor saw the little patient twenty-four hours later he was sorely puzzled ad to what had happened to the inflamed drum; he looked at the ear, then at his notes, and again peered into the ear. “Mrs. —-, are you sure this is the same child I saw yesterday?” He called his assistant, showed him the case and, after a long consultation, they came to the conclusion that something extraordinary, something they had never seen before, had happened-an inflamed ear had resolved without operative interference!
Mother was jubilant, and never failed to tell this tale against the famous surgeon, where Homoeopathy had triumphed and carried the day.
This incident made a deep impression, and since that day one has saved many people from incision of the drum. Belladonna is not always the remedy, nor is Merc. biniodide. It depends on the symptoms which are found present. The nature of the pain, the direction, the ameliorations and aggravations of the local seat of trouble.
One was called one evening to a little fair-haired boy, almost beside himself with pain in the ear; he was fretful and whiny, wanted to be made a fuss of; the pain came on in fits and shot right down to teeth in the lower jaw. All these details pointed to Pulsatilla, and a few doses of Puls. high cleared up the inflamed drum in less than twenty-four hours. For two or three years afterwards he had recurrence of this trouble which always came on after he got his feet wet, another Puls. symptom. It is now several years since his last attack, and one knows, should there be a recurrence, Puls. will again help, as sure as anything.
Another case occurred in a young student after German measles. She presented the typical Pulsatilla symptoms and it cleared up as suddenly as it came after a few doses, without leaving any deafness behind or any other symptoms of eustachian catarrh. Chronic deafness is the usual sequel after otitis media in German measles as treated by orthodox methods!.
Belladonna, Pulsatilla, Merc. bin. are common remedies in cases of acute of acute earache; but other drugs many be required, and one has to study ones Materia Medica carefully to find the right remedy.
Once a boy was brought in for earache during the teething period. He was shrieking the place down, so spiteful, nothing was right for him; he wanted to be carried about he hit his mother open side of his face was red and the other pale; he could not speak yet, but there was not need to ask many questions: the remedy stared one in the face; it was Chamomilla, and the next time this child was seen there was not a better behaved child in creation, a perfect angel, and his earache had gone without an operation.
Much about the same time another infant, about fourteen months old, was seen with almost identical symptoms. He was irritable and fretful, did not want to be touched, screamed when the back of the ear was touched; but the face was pale and he rolled his head. I diagnosed otitis media, and examination with an ear speculum confirmed it.
The remedy was Cina. in this case; but unfortunately it was not in stock and, before it could be procured, the mother had become too worried and worked up and had rushed the child off to a local hospital, where an operation was performed twenty-four hours later, first an incision of the drum, later a complete mastoid, and three or four days later the child was in the post mortem room. One could not blame the mother: she did what she thought best under the circumstances.
A VERY similar case was seen very shortly afterwards. The child showed the same rolling of the head, the same irritability and sensitiveness to touch; did not want anybody to come near him, was constantly picking his nose. The mother of course though it was worms and had considered giving him a worm cake which is largely made up of Santonin; the source, as John H. Clarke puts it, of our homoeopathic Cina.
I dissuaded the mother, as the Santonin would have made the condition much worse; but I knew that the homoeopathic Santonin given in minutest sub-division and dilution would certainly cure here, as the child during his illness showed the very same symptoms as were brought out by the healthy provers, when they took repeated doses and noted the effects produced on themselves.
These signs and symptoms I repeat again were: this normally affectionate child refused to be touched or caressed; tossed about in bed and rolled his head; the face was pallid with a white line round the mouth, gritted his teeth and picked his nose; the temperature was 101, the drum of the ear was bulging and red. How difficult it was to examine it. Cina 30 four-hourly quickly altered this serious state of affairs, and three days later once again we had a bright, affectionate child, with a sound eardrum and no brain complications.
“Coincidence,” you say; but if one gets case after case showing symptoms which a homoeopathic doctor recognizes as being found under a certain remedy, and when he applied that remedy and the particular pathological disease clears up immediately, surely a logical mind would ascribe the cure to the remedy, the medicine given, and not to some mythical coincidence. But some folks are difficult to convince and will wriggle out of any argument if it does not suit them to believe.
Now still another case in a baby, before I quote some cases of earache in adults.
Children are difficult in one way to treat, as you have to depend entirely on your powers of observation, you cannot ask any questions as regards the nature, the seat, and the character and direction of the pain. On the other hand their objective signs and symptoms are clearer, not disguised or hidden by crude drugs and large doses of medicines taken in the past.
This baby was eight months old and just passing through its difficult period of dentition; breastfed, with a good careful mother, a happy, contented mortal, always cooing and laughing. Suddenly it all changed, the face became scarlet and felt very hot to the touch; the temperature was 102, and he was delirious during the night, constantly shrieking with piercing shrieks, the throat was intensely red and the left eardrum was red and bulging. “Did I incise its eardrum?” I should have, according to recognized and orthodox teaching.