Call to schedule an appointment today! 513-685-4607

Hearing Loss Cures of the Past

post Image

Dr. Timothy Teague, AuD

Dr. Teague earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Hearing, Speech and Language from Ohio University and his Doctoral Degree in Audiology from The University of Louisville. He is an active member of the American Academy of Audiology and the Ohio Board of Audiology.
Dr. Timothy Teague, AuD

Latest posts by Dr. Timothy Teague, AuD (see all)

Today, people facing a hearing loss are more fortunate than those in years past. This is because of the technology available to help improve hearing loss. In days-gone-by, a person was pretty much out-of-luck when it came to solving the hearing loss problem. There were some very interesting “cures” offered to those suffering from a loss. Let’s take a look at what some people did in the past in hopes of being able to hear better.

Strange “Cures” for Hearing Loss

It was believed that if a person sat in a chair for three days and three nights without eating any food or drinking any water, his/her deafness would be cured.

Another belief was if you mixed your urine with garlic and olive oil, stirred it gently, and drank it three times a day, then your hearing loss would be cured.

To cure a hearing loss, some people would fry peach kernels in hog lard. Then they would put the drops in their ear. Do you think that actually worked?

One really far-out idea was to stick a twig in your ear. You were instructed to keep it there all day and all night, and then the deafness would be cured.

Hearing Loss Treatment in the 19th Century

If you had a hearing loss in the late 1800s, you might have been offered “artificial eardrums.” It was reported that tiny devices were placed in the ear. The devices supposedly would help sound resonate through the auditory canal. Some of them were made from metal, which caused a lot of pain when inserted.

Another bazaar “cure” was “blistering.” People were given blisters using caustic plaster. Once the blistering occurred, it was thought the pus was evidence the toxins were being extracted from the body. Unfortunately, this was another failed attempt to restore hearing loss.

Some unusual “cures” were given to Beethoven, the musical legend. When he was in his 20s, he suffered from buzzing and ringing in the ears. Today we call this tinnitus. He also had other hearing issues. Beethoven went to several different doctors in Europe looking for a cure to his hearing loss.

One of these involved the doctor prescribing that he place almond oil earplugs along with galvanism (a procedure that passes an electrical current through the afflicted part of the body to offer it stimulation) in his ear. The electrical shock was to restore the hearing. However, the result was not successful, and his hearing was not restored.

Another doctor told Beethoven he needed to isolate himself. The doctor said he needed to “rest” his ears. Apparently, no instructions were given as to how one “rests” their ears, but the idea did not help the musician.

Other offers to cure hearing loss involved different contraptions. The purpose was to stimulate the ear’s nerves. Some people were given a large contraption to put in his/her ear. It was fixed so it would vibrate the inner ear. Another failure! 

A Magical Pill?

Have you ever heard of the hearing loss pill? The claim is that taking this pill for 60 days will cure your loss. This was guaranteed. And, if it weren’t successful, your money would be refunded. However, each sell of the pill came with a disclaimer which stated that the testimonials on the website were some of the better results and were not typical. So, it seems the pill did not work!

This Cure is a Leap!

The next one required you to be a brave person. It was suggested you climb very, very high (it did not state if we are talking about a tree, a bridge, or what) once you up a great way, you suddenly jumped down. It was reported that the fall would restore your hearing. It seems doubtful this cured many people with hearing loss!

Seeking Proper Treatment for Hearing Loss

None of the above “cures” healed a person from hearing loss. Fortunately, today, we have a variety of ways to help many people to recover from their loss. The hearing aid is one of the most common solutions to hearing loss. It can improve the quality of life, and today technology has added many features to make them even better. If you have a more severe loss, you might be offered a cochlear implant. If you have a hearing loss, contact us and make an appointment to visit us at The Hearing Consultants and learn more about the proper way to treat hearing loss!