A practical guide for nutritional and traditional health care.
The loss and disturbances with the faculty of hearing often causes misunderstandings in day to day communication and create a sense of isolation in the individual. There are many causes for the loss of hearing and hearing problems even in the young even though we tend to believe that problems with hearing affect only the elderly and of loss of hearing as only the preserve of the old.
A temporary loss of hearing is often induced by many types of ear infections. A persistent and lasting condition of loss of hearing can result in the event of such an infection not resolving itself, in a given amount of time. Hearing can be affected on the face and the auditory nerve can be damaged by the appearance of shingles on the face. A painless and very different cause of loss of hearing is otosclerosis, this condition affects the small bones in the middle ear, causing a condition of loss of hearing which progressively worsens but is always painless over a period of time. The loss of hearing and problems with hearing in many people can also be due to a swollen outer-ear canal, the swelling arising from an infection or simply from the accumulation of excess earwax, it is important that this is removed and must be done by a medical professional.
Another inner ear problem is called Meniere's disease; it is characterized by ringing in the ears, by episodes of hearing loss, and the occurrence of spells of dizziness. Before it goes away and gradually disappears the onset of this disease is very sudden and unexpected and can last up to an entire day before fading. The most discomfiting aspects of the disease are the sensations such as the loss of balance and the spinning dizziness, which come often combined with nausea and vomiting in the affected person. There is a feeling of a great amount of pressure within the ear. The noises in the ear can precipitate an attack by themselves, alternately they can appear during or after the dizzy spells that come and go. With renewed and recurring attacks over the long term, the hearing progressively worsens, but recurring attacks are not absolute and do not necessarily follow. The affliction is normally in one ear only at a given time.
Another problem in the inner ear is the occurrence of sudden and debilitating deafness. There can also develop a sensation of ear ringing and dizziness with the symptoms. While there are cases of permanent loss of hearing, it is quite usual that hearing returns within a two-week period, in the vast majority of cases. Professional treatment of any loss of hearing is essential. It is important to establish the cause of hearing loss even if the loss of hearing is gradual and slow and takes a lot of time to disappear completely.
Physiologically the human ear is exceedingly complex and intricate, it is also very delicate and consists of an outer canal, the middle ear which carries and amplifies sound that comes in, and the then the inner ear, which is active in the reception and translation of the sound that comes into the ears. The information is then interpreted by the brain as it is passed on to the nerves, which send it to the brain. Hearing in general will be affected by any structural problems in any part of the ear, either along the auditory nerves or in the brain itself.
While other factors can and do have an affect, some hearing loss is a normal concomitant of aging process. This problem can be compounded by a repeated exposure to loud noises, since extremely strong vibrations caused by strong and loud noises often destroys the most sensitive parts of the hearing apparatus in the inner ear. This is the reason that the loss of hearing and an affected hearing is often seen in people who work on a daily basis with loud machinery or explosives, this is especially so in those cases where they do not use protective devices to subdue and minimize the sound.
In other cases if the eardrum does not heal or recover properly and becomes defective in the cases of chronic middle ear infections, this could be a possible cause of permanent hearing loss. If a cotton swab or another is plunged too deeply into the auditory canal it can cause serious damage to this membrane and contribute to permanent loss of hearing. The earwax can also be pushed farther along the canal to cause a build-up that may affect hearing using cotton swabs improperly while cleaning the ears.
The reason behind and the exact causes of many types of hearing problems is also unknown and are yet unsolved. There are conditions such as the sudden appearance of deafness, for instance, though linked to an inner-ear problem, a circulatory disruption or possibly a viral disease can also be the initial cause of the condition. An increase in fluid volume in the inner ear, which raises pressure and disturbs normal hearing and balance probably, causes the dizziness, the ear ringing and hearing loss of Meniere's disease. The underlying reasons for the accumulation of the fluid are not very clear, even if the incidence of Meniere's disease is fairly common. Disturbances in the teeth or changes in the muscle structure and joints of the jaw lead to the onset of Meniere's disease, so some evidence indicates, however, this has not been proved.
To reestablish normal balance a holistic approach is required in the treatment of Meniere's disease, as almost the entire body, is affected. The recurrent and renewed attacks may often be triggered by stress and included in the recurrence of the symptoms, a poor circulation in the ear is believed to play a major role, this is similar to the cases of arteriosclerosis and other circulatory disturbances in the body. There is also a need to investigate and possibly find links between the effects of diet and an accumulation of toxins in the body.
While the underlying factors that trigger the loss of hearing are yet unclear and mysterious, the loss of hearing experienced during otosclerosis is the result of a stiffening of the tiny bones in the middle ear, these are responsible for amplifying and relaying sound to the inner ear.
Supplements and herbs
When utilized with other therapeutic treatments, supplementation with useful substances and herbs will help improve the faculty of hearing. If there is also an inflammation of the nerves responsible for the sense of hearing and the deafness that is present is associated with this factor, then the supplementation with the B vitamins will tremendously help fight the worst effects of a loss of hearing. For the occurrence of dizzy spells and a ringing in the ear, symptoms which are often associated with Meniere's disease, the supplements using B complex vitamins may help. In cases where the condition of deafness is related to the aging process, the vitamin B complex also assists greatly.
When there is a lot of stress in the person then these vitamins assume a greater level of responsibility and are considered very important at such times. Because of its ability to increase the rate of circulation, the vitamin niacin is often used to treat Meniere's disease; it also has the capacity to dilate the blood vessels. Depending on the sensitivity of the individual and the dosage level, it should be remembered that this B vitamin often causes flushing to occur, which may last from half an hour to an hour and a half.
There is a possible connection between a lack of calcium and the loss of hearing due to the stiffening of the bones in the middle ear. A ceasing and even a reversal of the process can be achieved using a therapy which includes the addition of vitamin D and calcium to the diet. The mineral magnesium should always be added to the supplement that is taken in with the diet as a magnesium deficiency can result in hearing problems. With special regard to the inner ear, the vitamin A and the mineral selenium are also necessary for normal hearing, and should be used as supplements.
The causes and the symptoms behind hearing disturbances can be very effectively relieved through the use of herbal remedies.
If the condition is caused by absorption of toxins from chronic constipation, fasting may become necessary with the ingestion of juices only. In combination with the juices, the tea of black dogwood bark may be used. The herb hawthorn is helpful with regards to dizziness and tinnitus in the ear. To prepare the dose pour a cup of boiling water over a tsp. of hawthorn blossoms, this can be steeped for ten to fifteen minutes, the concoction can then be strained and 2-3 cups of this can be drunk daily for a month as a treatment. 10 drops of the extract in a liquid twice daily, can also be an alternate treatment option. The regulation of circulation can be achieved by the extract of the passion flower. For the relief from infections in the middle ear, use can be made of chamomile and nasturtium herbs. Excellent remedies for the ears which also sharpen the auditory senses are fresh plant extracts of the ginkgo biloba and ribwort plantain. These can be taken and used till the full abatement of symptoms is achieved. To improve the circulation and maintain a normal pulse rate, use can be made of bayberry and the yarrow herbs singly. Nausea can be warded off by ginger root taken as a tea, in the form of a capsule or as an additive in food.
Additional things you may do
With an increase in the circulation to the affected area, the sense of hearing improves. A good activity is the regular massaging and rubbing of the ears. The circulation of blood to the head can all be helped by saunas, head massage, and rising-temperature arm baths. The ears need some time to recuperate and adjust each day; this should be remembered especially if you have to tolerate job-related noises such as continuous hammering, grinding, intensive humming or even the constant blaring of the radio. Permanent loss of hearing is often the result if the intervals and duration of rest between periods of noise are too short. Eventual and gradual hearing loss can also result from the use of earphones, listening to heavy rock music and loud banging noises measuring over ninety decibels, all these sounds are very harmful to the ears.
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