DEAFNESS is an extremely intractable complaint. One meets hundreds of deaf people who have been treated in vain by numerous doctors and specialists of the highest standing without any result.
The orthodox specialist looks upon disorders of hearing from the purely mechanical point of view. He examines the ear and the adjoining parts of the body with the wonderful instruments which science has developed. He clears out the passages leading from the ear to the mouth, the eustachian tubes, by blowing through, considering that catarrh of the eustachian tubes, which is very frequent, often interfering with hearing.
He examines the throat, the cavities which stand in connection with the nose and every surrounding structure with great care, with various instruments, by transillumination, and he often uses X-ray to explore the position, but unfortunately the best attempts made to cure these cases prove often terribly disappointing to the sufferers.
It is the glory of Homoeopathy to succeed where orthodox medicine has failed. Every experienced homoeopathic doctor has to his credit many cures of deafness, ear noises, etc., which have proved incurable to orthodox medicine. The homoeopathic physician will be all the more successful if he remembers that deafness is not always a local disorder. In accordance with Hahnemanns teaching, he must study the totality of symptoms as well as the local condition.
Those who wish to cure the deaf should first of all investigate the constitutional needs of the patient. They should regulate the patients diet, his excretions, etc., remembering that a diet deficient in essential elements may create diseases and disorders in every part of the body and also remembering that auto- intoxication from the bowel may lead to degenerative processes.
If a patient has very distinct Sulphur symptoms or Calcarea symptoms or Rhus tox. symptoms, etc., the treatment should be commenced with the indicated constitutional remedies. Besides, the local condition should be treated, and the greatest attention should be paid to the inherited factors which may find an outlet in or about the ears. If there is tuberculosis in a patients family, it will be wise to give him a dose of Tuberculinum or Bacillinum in a high potency once a week, or less often.
If there is sex disease or the suspicion of sex disease, an occasional dose of Syphilinum, Medorrhinum or Glinicum may prove helpful. The condition of the tonsils, of the nasal cavities and of all the surrounding structures should carefully be inquired into. If there are swollen tonsils, they should be treated with Calcarea iodata, Lycopodium or whatever medicine is indicated.
Deafness is very frequently due to chronic catarrh. Homoeopathy has a profusion of remedies for this condition. My favourite remedies for eustachian catarrh are Kali bichromicum, Kali iodatum, Hydrastis and a few others. Then there are peculiar symptoms connected with deafness which point to the indicated remedy. Many deaf people hear better in a noise. They hear better in a railway train than in the silence of the church. This peculiar condition calls as a rule for Graphites.
When a patient complains that he had the feeling as if there were a skin covering the ear, Verbascum should be thought of. Where the condition is worse in damp weather Silica, Pulsatilla and Mercurius may prove helpful, and Mercurius is particularly indicated if there is an unpleasant discharge from the ear, and if there are the well-known mercurial tongue symptoms.
If hearing is improved in damp weather and made worse in dry and windy weather, Causticum should be thought of. Pulsatilla is particularly indicated if there is catarrh with a green discharge and if there are other Pulsatilla indications such as weepiness in women, etc. Deafness combined with depression with aggravation at night frequently calls for Aurum iodatum, roaring noises in the ear suggest Graphites, etc.
Apart from the dietetic, constitutional and local medicinal treatment, certain commonsense measures may prove of the greatest value. Whatever the cause of deafness may be, the circulation in and around the ears should be improved by every means, for instance by neck exercises, bending the neck forward, backward, sideways, circling the neck to the right and left, massaging around the ears, moving the lower jaw from side to side with a motion of chewing the cud, a motion which massages the eustachian tubes; blowing through the nose with the nose closed, which causes the air to be driven into the eustachian tubes, clearing them, etc.
If there is a defective distribution of the blood, hot foot baths or hot hand and arm baths may prove very helpful. The fact that distinguished specialists have pronounced the condition absolutely incurable after long treatment should never deter a homoeopathic physician or lay prescriber.
On January 24th, 1935, I was consulted by Mrs. K., who complained of complete deafness of the right ear and almost complete deafness of the left ear, which had been increasing gradually. Mrs. K. was forty-eight years old and her deafness had been discovered forty-four years previously when she was a child of four. There was some indication that the deafness, at least of the completely deaf ear, was due to injury by forceps. The lady looked weak, had much-mended teeth, had always been delicate.
She had had scarlet fever badly when fifteen, her tonsils and adenoids were removed when twenty-one, and the deafness was aggravated by bending down, lying on a low pillow, was worst in the morning and improved slightly as the day went on. She had been troubled frequently with nasal catarrh, had severe headaches on the top of the head; her condition was worse in damp weather.
I came to the conclusion that her deafness was principally of a catarrhal nature. I recommended a strengthening diet, and gave her in alternation Pulsatilla 1x and Hydrastis O. On January 30th she reported: “I am slightly clearer and hear a little better.” I went on with Pulsatilla and Hydrastis and then gave her a few doses of Bacillinum once a week. On February 13th she reported: “My catarrh really is better to-day; I pray my hearing will continue to improve.” On March 6th she wrote: “I have had a very good week, my hearing is marvellously better, I still have buzzing in the ears but not so much.
In view of the fact that there was probably a birth injury, I gave her occasional doses of Arnica and strengthened her constitutionally with Calcarea phosphorica. On April 24th she wrote: “I am still feeling very well. I think you have quite cured the catarrh and my hearing is much better. I can now carry on a conversation with anybody without that terrible straining to hear.
I still have a certain amount of buzzing in my ears but, except in bed, I hardly notice it. I do not think there is any improvement in my right ear, I rely entirely on my left.” The left ear continued to improve from week to week. The lady wrote to me on May 9th: “My hearing is much better. I do not think you would know I was deaf at all. The right ear is just the same. I feel and look well.”.
Some time after the lady visited me. When she first saw me, I had to shout at the top of my voice to make her understand; when I saw her for the second time, on June 7th, I conversed with her in the slightest of whispers and I wrote to her: “I am immensely pleased with your progress.
You can understand me clearly now when I whisper from a distance, your nasal catarrh has gone, menstrual discharge is no longer so profuse, and you are better in every respect.” The hearing of the right ear was, apparently, completely destroyed, and it never improved at all. However, the lady can hear with one ear as well as a normal person can hear with both, and she is very happy with that wonderful improvement after forty years of suffering.
On October 8th, 1935, I was visited by a Mrs. L. who was forty- five years old and was suffering from a continuous headache which was going on night and day, which gave her a sensation of a band pressing around the head, especially around the forehead, and the pain was like that caused by a rapidly used hammer. She had a chronically relaxed throat, icy hands and feet and a large swelling on the right side of the thyroid, which had been in that condition for months. Besides, she was almost stone deaf in both ears.
I came to the conclusion that her deafness, as that of Mrs. K., was due to chronic catarrh. I gave her the usual head and neck exercises previously described. As there was an inflammatory condition and a Belladonna headache I gave her Belladonna in a low potency, Sulphur iodatum because there was a tubercular tendency and distinct symptoms calling for both Sulphur and Iodium and between meals she was given Kali bichromicum for her catarrh.
A few days after, on October 10th, she wrote, to my amazement: “I am already very much better and in twenty-four hours my headaches are much better and, although it is only three days since I saw you, the thyroid gland is nearly normal.”.
I ascribed the wonderful improvement in the ladys condition largely to her optimism and the hope which I had aroused in her, and I declined to take her letter seriously. However, she wrote to me three days later, on October 13th: “It is with the greatest delight that I am able to report a very marked improvement in my hearing. Life already seems to me well worth while. I had lost all interest in most things as it was a continual strain being even with ones relations and hearing them harping on my deafness, and what a strain it was on them to speak to me I have already told you.
I had seen four eminent ear specialists and they all told me the same, that my deafness was hereditary and the sooner I made up my mind to buy an ear trumpet the better, as I could never hope to be any better. Is it any wonder that I awaken in the morning and think it must be a dream? No one knows the misery of being deaf but those who have suffered for years as I have, and so few people have any human sympathy. I feel so much better in myself and have had no headaches since the day after I saw you, and I had suffered for years. The blood does not rush to my head and throb every time I stoop.”.
On October 17th I saw the lady for the second time, and I wrote to her after her visit: “I am most delighted with our interview. You looked distinctly better, muscles feel harder, you look much happier, your nerves are better, hearing has marvellously improved and for the first time for years you were able to listen to the sermon.” Since then I have seen the lady repeatedly and her hearing is apparently normal. I can converse with her in the slightest of whispers at a distance. It has been the quickest cure of deafness, pronounced “incurable” by a number of eminent aurists, which it has been my good fortune to produce.
I think these two cures must be highly encouraging to those of my readers who are consulted by people suffering from chronic deafness. However serious the condition may be and however long it may have been in existence, the prescriber should not despair and should try his best and he may be rewarded with results which will surprise not only the patient but himself as well.