Latest posts by Timothy Hunsaker Au.D. (see all)
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Hearing loss is a condition that affects nearly 50 million people in the U.S. Studies have discovered two types of hearing loss: sensorineural and conductive. Both have numerous causes that can be as simple as aging to as complicated as growths and tumors. Diagnosing which type of hearing loss is occurring should be left to an expert.
In modern times, numerous technological devices and therapies can partially or fully restore hearing loss, depending on the severity of the condition. Not too long ago, society still believed in “traditional” methods for restoring hearing loss, and the so-called cures seem more bizarre than even the most outrageous home treatments for the common cold.
Historically, hearing loss has been around since the early development of humanity. Like many conditions that existed back then, “medical professionals” believed that there were only two choices: try and cure it or leave it alone.
How Bizarre Hearing Loss Cures Used to Be
One of the most legendary musicians to ever grace this Earth suffered from tinnitus and several other hearing deficiencies, Beethoven. Beethoven eventually learned to live with his condition as best he could, but in his youth, he sought out numerous doctors and tried everything they prescribed him. Today, doctors often treat tinnitus with hearing aids; back then, Beethoven had to put up with some wacky “cure-alls.”
The oddest thing Beethoven’s doctors prescribed him was isolation. That particular doctor believed that Beethoven’s ears needed rest, as being a musician put his ears under a lot of stress. Other doctors suggested that Beethoven try almond oil earplugs and offered to shock him as part of a galvanism treatment. Galvanism is an old practice used to treat many conditions by passing an electrical current through the afflicted area, hoping to regenerate the area.
As science and medicine “evolved”, doctors and engineers developed all sorts of contraptions. Many of the early devices involved vibrating the inner ear. It not only made the wearer look weird, but it worked less efficiently as almond oil earplugs.
Medicine, again, went through a weird phase, which led doctors to believe that blistering could solve hearing loss. Yes, blistering! Trained medical experts would blister their patients’ skin and allow the pus to seep out. They said the pus was proof of toxin leaving the body, which somehow improved hearing and promoted healthy ears.
Among the more outrageous hearing loss cures of old is artificial eardrums. While that may sound like something futuristic and potentially ground-breaking, the historical reality was the complete opposite of a miracle. The process involved sticking something, sometimes metal, into the ear in hopes that sound would resonate through the auditory canal. Obviously, it was extremely painful and the material of the tiny device also caused problems as time went on.
Hearing Loss Cures Today
Though none of these historical hearing-loss cures worked and few cures outside of hearing aids have, people still believe they can cure their and other’s hearing loss through miraculous means. Not too long ago, a man named David Quigley claimed that hypnosis cured his hearing loss.
According to him, a spiritual healer placed her fingers in his ear and his hearing was cured within the following weeks. Despite the many, many holes in his story, the most obvious would be if he really suffered from hearing loss. His story is the only evidence of any affliction.
In an era of pharmaceutical deception, of course, companies claim to have invented hearing loss pills. Some of these pill companies even claim to be able to cure hearing loss in 60 days; they even offer a money-back guarantee. Even the companies admit that they’re selling a product they know most people won’t do anything with and that their reviews are not written by typical consumers.
As mentioned before, the only real solutions to treating hearing loss are hearing aids; experts have recently begun developing cochlear implants as well. The simple truth is hearing loss is a complicated issue and it has no magical cure. Restoring hearing loss is possible for both types of hearing loss. Conductive hearing loss can be restored through surgery and sensorineural hearing loss through hearing aids.