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Source: Papers On Health
We have had so much success in helping the deaf that we feel
warranted in seeking to spread the knowledge of our methods as widely
Deafness is caused in many ways--very often by exposure of the head to
a chill, especially in infancy. We have seen it even arise from
enclosing the head in a bag of ice with a view to extreme cooling. What
is called "throat deafness" is a different matter, but yields to the
same treatment as the cases of chill. The process of cure is very
similar to that used in cases of failing sight (see under Eyes), for
the aural nerve has to be stimulated as the optic nerve in these cases.
Rub the back of the head and neck, using hot olive oil, and continuing
gently, yet firmly, until all the parts are in a glow of heat. Do this
some time during the day. At night apply the BRAN POULTICE (see),
oiling before and after, to the back of head and neck, the patient
lying down on it for an hour at bedtime. Gently syringe the ears with
tepid water, but only so far as to cleanse them. Rub with ACETIC ACID
(see) behind the ears, but not so as to cause soreness. In an
obstinate case continue treatment for a month, then rest for a
fortnight, and continue for another month.
Cases of deafness arising from dryness and hardness in the ears are to
be treated differently. The ear is brushed internally with soap lather
(see Lather and Soap). Dip a brush, such as is used for water-colour
drawing, into hot water, rub it on the soap, and gently brush the
inside of the ear. Renew the lather frequently, keeping up the heat.
With another brush moisten the same parts with fine almond oil. Gently,
but thoroughly, dry out the ear with a fine roll of lint or soft
cotton. In a fortnight we have seen great benefit from this done daily
or twice a day. Be careful not to use pressure on the inside of the ear
when washing or drying, as this may cause the wax to harden into balls,
pressing on the drum. The whole head may also be rubbed with acetic
acid, not so as to cause pain, but simply a strong heat in the skin. In
all treatment of so delicate an organ as the ear, avoid giving pain.
If the deafness proceed simply from a relaxed state of the tissues in
the tubes of the ear, the cold douche applied to the head, with careful
drying and rubbing afterwards, will often effect a cure. But it is only
a sudden, brief, cold splash which is wanted, not a stream directed
for any time on the head, which might do serious injury. In this
connection it may be noticed that a child should never be punished by
"boxing its ears." Children have had their hearing permanently
injured by this thoughtless practice.
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