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Hearing Loss is nothing new. It is a centuries old condition that many have battled. While in present times we have a variety of ways to combat this condition, the people of the past weren’t as fortunate. Luckily for us, they left records of some of the remedies that they used as cures. Let’s take a look
One of the most interesting but often used remedies has to be using blisters. Yes, blisters. People were given blisters by using caustic plaster. Then, when the pus seeped out, it was assumed to indicate healing. If that didn’t work it was ok. There were many other methods.
Bloodletting was kind of the cure all. Cold? Bleed a little. Fever? Shed a little blood. Sleepy? Make the incision. It would be preposterous to think this cure all would not cure hearing loss as well. The idea was so sound even musical genius Beethoven tried it. He also tried the shocking method of galvanism. That is simply sending an electrical shock to the affected body part to stimulate it. A little wake up buzz if you will. Surprisingly, neither of those worked any better than his doctor’s orders to rest his ears by isolating himself. Luckily for us, he was still able to produce beautiful music.
If those did not do it for you, climbing to great heights then jumping was always an option. The idea was the fall would restore your hearing. If upon landing, you found that didn’t work you could try the stick method. Simply place a twig in your ear until hearing was restored. You weren’t to remove it until you could hear again.
If you were ok with placing things in your ear, but a twig wasn’t your speed there was a variety of other ideas. You could place almond oil coated ear plugs in. Or you could have boiled your urine and taken the boiled off water and placed that in your ear. The water boiled off from the urine is the cure. Or you could simply add garlic and olive oil to the urine and drink it. If that isn’t your speed, frying peach kernels might be. The trick is to fry them in hog lard then use the drops created in the ear.
If you still weren’t cured by this time there were still lots of methods to try. Hypnotizing was a popular remedy. The idea was you go under hard of hearing or deaf, but awaken hearing. Or try opium. Opium might do the trick. If that was too much for you, they would suggest snuff, but only certain brand. All snuff was not created equal you know.
Some people liked to think big back then. They created a contraption that basically vibrated the ear to restore hearing. Alternatively, a pair of artificial eardrums could have been beneficial, yet painful. Some were made entirely of metal and they were to be inserted into your ears! Ouch.
Prayer was also a choice. If you prayed and the gods were pleased, you would hear again. If you failed to pray every day or misbehaved the devil had claimed your hearing. In a few cases the priest suggested leaving the person in the woods. The onset of menstruation was also thought to be a cure.
As with any other ailments, there were a variety of oils and such. Some were to be poured into the ear canal, others for drinking. They also had a variety of salts and minerals that were of course natures cure for deafness or being hard of hearing.
Luckily for us things have advanced very much over the years. Now we have hearing aids (metal pain not included), cochlear implants and a variety of assistive listening devices. Hearing loops amplify sound. Personal amplifiers reduce background noise. Infrared systems convert sound to light signals. Those signals are then sent to a device the listener has. Telecommunication relay services make it much easier for deaf and hard of hearing people to use telephones to stay in touch. There are also several devices to alerts a deaf or hard of hearing person of doorbells, fire etc, ranging from flashing strobe lights to vibration sensors.
Contact us for a hearing consultation!