NOTEThis section deals with methods of reducing blood congestion in the middle ear and inner ear, and was taken, with slight adaptation, from Dr. William L. McKie's book, Scientific Hydrotherapy, page 55.
DRAINING THE MIDDLE EARApplications should be made to the whole side of the head and face, diverting blood from the internal carotid and internal maxillary blood vessels. If the Hot Compress extends below the jaw, the common carotid will be dilated (enlarged), which you do not want. An Ice Bag should be placed below the jaw at the same time. This will increase the effect, by contracting the carotid.
DRAINING THE INNER EARThe internal ear, receiving its blood supply from the vertebral artery, a branch of the subclavian, is not affected by heat over the ear. But the inner ear problem may be relieved, when congested, by warm applications to the arms and cold applications to the head and back of the neck, thus diverting the blood into the arms from the vertebral arteries by a proximal compress or an ice bag to the back of the neck.
Also see "Earache and Infection."
SYMPTOMSOne or both ears ache. This is frequently accompanied by infection in the middle ear. The pain will be worse at night because the body is prone (flat) and it is more difficult for the eustachian tubes to drain out the phlegm.
Sometimes the ears will ache because there is trouble with the teeth (referred pain), but this is not common.
CAUSESInfection of the outer or middle ear causes pressure to build up. This pressure on nerve endings causes pain. But, if there were no pain, there might be no warning that a serious ear problem existed.
Otitis externa is infection in the outer ear. The eardrum through the length of the eustachian tube becomes swollen and inflamed. There is a slight fever, discharge from the ear, pain (which increases when the ear is touched or pulled), and temporary loss of hearing.
Otitis media is infection in the middle ear, and is especially common in infants and children. The infection is located behind the eardrum, where the small ear bones are located. There is earache, fullness, pressure in the ear, and a fever as high as 103o F. or higher.
Here is an ear test: if you can wiggle your outer ear (the part you can see) without pain, you probably have a middle ear infection; if there is pain, the infection is in the eustachian tube.
Going into higher altitudes can push phlegm, already in the eustachian tube, into the middle ear. Never sleep on your ear if you have a head cold and the vehicle is moving upward to a higher elevation.
Infection in the inner ear generally results from meningitis or from the spread of a middle-ear infection. Symptoms include loss of hearing, nausea, dizziness, vomiting, and fever.
Earache is a common childhood infection. Most children experience it. It is easier for a child to have an ear infection, since his eustachian tube is shorter than that of an adult. Causes include childhood diseases, allergies, colds, and respiratory infections.
If they are frequent, ear infections can lead to loss of hearing.
Chronically enlarged adenoids may cause blockage of the eustachian tubes, leading to congestion and fluid buildup in the middle ear.
There is a tendency for people who have ear problems to be heavy earwax producers. To reduce the amount of earwax made, eat less unsaturated fatty acids. Unsaturated fatty acids are not a problem.
TREATMENT FOR INFECTION
If you seem to have pain in the ear, pull on the earlobe. If the pain increases, then you probably have an ear infection. If the pain does not increase, you may have a dental problem.
Keep the ears warm and the person resting in bed, preferably with his head and, perhaps also, his trunk slightly elevated (to assist natural drainage of the eustachian tubes). Surgical draining might be necessary. The fever increases the need for vitamins A and C. Keep the feet warm. Heat applied to the feet will draw blood from the head and improve circulation.
Sit up when practical to do so, to decrease the swelling and start the tubes draining. Swallowing will help ease the pain. Yawning really helps open up the eustachian tubes.
Blow warm air from a hair dryer 18-30 inches from the ear, and blow air toward it.
Warm some oil to body temperature, and place a drop or two in the ear. This will help lessen pain. But do not do this if you think the drum has burst!
A helpful method, used by many for a long time is this: To alleviate pain in the ear, use a little olive oil or garlic oil in the ear, then add a drop or two of lobelia tincture.
Another way to reduce pain is to make a paste, using onion powder or clay packs. Then apply this to the outside of the ear.
Bake a large onion until it becomes soft, and tie it over the ear; this will often give great relief when pain is severe.
Avoid sugar, dairy products, meat, and heavy meals until the crisis is past. Herbal teas are helpful in assisting the healing process. This includes peppermint, echinacea, goldenseal, pau d'arco, and slippery elm.
Because they increase sticky mucous in the body, dairy products increase ear infections. Excessive sweets and starches lower resistance and intensify ear problems.
People with a tendency to ear infection should avoid all cow's milk products. But, in addition to producing so much mucous, it is reported that milk allergies can produce earaches (and even a burst eardrum), simulating otitis mediawithout an ear infection actually existing.
Avoid cigarette smoke, for it can irritate the eardrum.
Place drops of hydrogen peroxide in the ear, to help clean it out. Then rinse out with water. Do not leave the peroxide there. It can sink through the eardrum and produce a fizzing sound which can last for several years.
Take garlic enemas. These will help disinfect the body of higher levels of toxins that are building up from the infection. Signs of this are chills, fever, general aches, and pain increase.
TREATMENT FOR RUPTURE
What should you do if the eardrum ruptures? Causes include a severe ear infection, sudden pressure inward on the ear, resulting from diving, slapping, a strong kiss to the ear, or a nearby explosion.
During an ear infection, pus builds up and causes pain in the ear. If this pus starts leaking to the outside, then the eardrum has ruptured.
In case the eardrum ruptures, put nothing in the ear until the eardrum is healed. A fomentation on the outside of the ear can be helpful.
Once the infection increases to acute pain, you may need antibiotics.
An alternate method is: When the ear has abscessed and broken, use warm peroxide to wash the ear out. The peroxide will loosen the putrefied matter and bring it out of the ear. This method is probably good for cleaning out the ear; but keep in mind that hydrogen peroxide is best used on outside body surfaces, where oxygen can cause it to fizz into harmlessness. When it gets inside sensitive body parts, it can continue there for quite some time. We know of one individual who had peroxide in his ear for several years thereafter; and, every so often, he could hear it lightly fizzing.
When using water therapy on the ear, be guarded. Hot applications over the area under the ear could cause trouble!
- Also see "Swimmer's Ear."
HYDROHere are hydrotherapy treatments mentioned in the author's book, Water Therapy Manual (see book store):
Irrigation of the Ear: A lean rubber tube is used to gently (gently!) introduce a flow of water onto the outer ear. The water is never applied with any pressure! It flows to the ear and out to the side. The temperature may be from 100o to 120o F., depending upon the effect desired. The source of water should be on a level with the top of the head (to maintain only a slight pressure). Never use force, because perforation of the ear often exists; and serious injury could result from introduction of water, with any degree of force, into the middle ear. The head should be inclined to the side as the water is applied.
The canal of the ear should afterward be carefully dried and covered with a cloth or a warm hand for a few minutes. In cold weather, the ear should not be exposed out-of-doors for at least an hour after warm ear irrigation is applied; and, even after that, a small piece of cotton should be placed in the outer passageway.
This measure affords great relief in the pain of acute otitis media and earache due to other causes. In chronic suppurative disease of the ear, this measure is indispensable as a means of cleansing and disinfection (p. 151).
Draining the middle ear: Applications should be made to the whole side of the head and face, diverting blood from the internal carotid and internal maxillary blood vessels. If the Hot Compress extends below the jaw, the common carotid artery will be dilated (enlarged), which you do not want. An ice bag should be placed below the jaw at the same time, and will increase the effect by contracting the carotid.
Draining the inner ear: The inner ear problem may be relieved, when congested, by warm applications to the arms and cold applications to the head and back of the neck, thus diverting the blood into the arms from the vertebral arteries by a proximal compress or an ice bag to the back of the neck (p. 194).
Inflammation of ear: Fomentation over affected part; derivative treatment to legs: Hot Leg Bath, Hot Foot Bath, Prolonged Leg Pack (p. 210).
Inflammation of middle ear: Ice to throat of the same side, Fomentation over ear (p. 221).
Earache: Ice Bag to the neck of the same side; Fomentation over ear; Hot Ear Douche, if necessary. Protect the ear with warm cotton, to prevent chilling by evaporation after treatment (p. 224).
Eustachian tube inflammation: The Heating Throat Compress is an application of a cold cloth, covered with flannel, which then heats up and results in improved circulation and a better flow of healing blood into, and out of, the afflicted area. Wring the cotton cloth from cold water and place it around the neck. This should be about 2-3 thicknesses about the neck. Cover it well with flannel (singly or doubly, depending on the thickness). Fit the flannel snugly but not too tightly that it will be uncomfortable. Pin it securely. Remove it the next morning. It should be entirely dry. In eustachian tube inflammation, the compress should extend upward about the lower part of the ear. You may need to hold up this part of the compress (the part by the lower part of the ear) with a bandage that is fastened to it and goes over the top part of the head and back down to it on the other side (pp. 51-53).
Never dive below 3-4 feet below the surface of the water.
Never sleep in a plane or vehicle when it is descendingor ascending. If you are in a car, climbing up or down the mountainsdo not sleep, especially on your side. You do not swallow as often when you are asleep; and, if you have phlegm in your sinuses, it can go up into your ears.
Be careful when scuba diving. The greatest air pressure changes occur within the first 33 feet below the surface. Avoid earplugs and hoods which are too tight-fitting, so you cannot equalize air pressure in the ears.
Avoid the above three situations, when your head is stuffy with phlegm.
Breast-feeding reduces a baby's chances of having ear trouble.
Do not smoke.
Also see "Ear Congestion."
ENCOURAGEMENTChrist will not be satisfied till the victory is complete in your life. He wants to change you into a full overcomer. Do not fail Him. Let Him empower you to obey the Ten Commandments.
SYMPTOMSHearing is becoming duller, and the person suspects he may be losing his hearing.
CAUSESThe problem may a hard plug of earwax in the ear canal. Some people have constant ear pain until the excess wax is cleaned out.
If you do not chew your food thoroughly, earwax can build up. The chewing tends to break it down.
Saturated fats contribute to excess production of earwax.
Never put anything sharp in the ear! That includes bobby pins, paper clips, and pencil tips. They can puncture the eardrum.
Do not use cotton-tipped swabs either, because they merely ram the wax down deeper and impact it the more.
Place something in your ear which will soften it. This can be hydrogen peroxide, mineral oil, or glycerin. Add a drop or two of this to each ear. Let the excess run out. The liquid left inside will soften the wax. Do this for a couple days.
Fill a bowl with body-temperature water. Suck it into a rubber bulb syringe; and, holding your head over the bowl, gently squirt the water into the ear. Use very, very little pressure. Turn your head and let the water run out.
Do not rub the ears, to dry them. Either use a hair dryer (18-20 inches away) or drop a little alcohol in each ear. Do not wash out the ears in this manner more often than every couple months. You need some earwax to protect your ears.
There is a tendency for people who have ear problems to be heavy earwax producers. To reduce the amount of earwax made, eat less unsaturated fatty acids. Unsaturated fatty acids are not a problem. It is the over-balance of unsaturated fats which causes the earwax problem.
An alternate method of cleaning out the earwax is this: Using an eyedropper, place either a solution of 1 part vinegar to 1 part warm water or a few drops of hydrogen peroxide in your ear. Allow it to settle for a minute, then drain it. Do this 2-3 times a day. If the wax is hard and dry, apply garlic oil for a day or two, to soften it. Then wash out the ear with a steady stream of warm water, under no pressure. Patiently continue irrigating the ear canal, flushing with warm water. The wax buildup will come out.
Yet another method is using "ear candles," available at health food stores. Someone will have to help you use them. Instructions come with the candles. Afterward, you may be bothered by the fact that an excess of wax has been eliminated. You may need to put cotton in each ear for a time.
ENCOURAGEMENTOne day alone is ours; and, during this day, we are to live for God. For this one day we are to place in the hand of Christ all our purposes and plans, casting all our care upon Him, for He careth for us.
SYMPTOMSAn ache and/or infection in one or both ears, after swimming in a pond, creek, or public swimming pool.
CAUSESSwimmer's ear occurs when pool water remains in the outer ear canal too long. Bacteria or fungi in the water increases the chance of infection. When swimming in contaminated water, keep your head out of the water.
The pool water, having repeatedly wet and softened the earwax, caused it to become an ideal place for bacteria to grow.
But the most common cause is infection from the nasal passages and throat, having been pushed into the eustachian tube when the nose was blown too hard.
Constant swimming throughout the summer can result in infestation of the external ear canal by candida albicans. Constant dampness (in water that is not entirely clean) throughout the summer swimming season is thought to be the cause.
Hydrogen peroxide ear drops.
See "Earache and Infection" for additional help.
ENCOURAGEMENTIf you have given yourself to God, to do His work, you have no need to be anxious for tomorrow. He will take care of that. Instead, just for today, live for Him, obey Him, and be a blessing to all around you.
SYMPTOMSOne's sense of hearing is lessening.
CAUSESIt may be that the sense of hearing is being lost. But it also may be that the ear has too much impacted earwax. (See "Earwax" for how to remove it.)
A manganese or tin deficiency in the diet can result in a hearing loss. Putting these back into the diet can reverse this, and restore the hearing.
Other possible causes would include: Milk allergies, poor ear circulation, and vitamin A deficiency.
The ear drums might be hardened with age. This generally accompanies hardening of the arteries.
Catarrhal deafness could be the problem. This starts when an acute infection (such as a cold or the flu) is suppressed and not allowed to run its course and be properly eliminated. A low level infection continues in the ear, and gradually ruins the hearing.
When acute diseases are treated with aspirin or quinine, partial or complete deafness can result. Other drugs which cause this effect are aureomycin, streptomycin, barbiturates, cocaine, opium, and their derivatives.
Smoking and caffeine cause spasms and narrowing of blood vessels.
Other substances to avoid would include lead, mercury, and cadmium.
Excessive amounts of noise injures the fine structures in the inner ear and gradually produces deafness.
Some people have occupational hazards which eventually lead to deafness. This includes piloting small planes and running chain saws or heavy equipment.
Consider the above factors.
Clean the ears, make sure manganese and tin are in the diet (take Nova Scotia dulse or Norwegian kelp). Take pulse tests and gradually eliminate food allergies. If milk is the problem, cut out all milk products from the diet. Avoid medicinal drugs, chemicals, and loud noises
Eat a wholesome, nutritious diet, with vitamin/mineral supplements. Drink fresh vegetable juices.
Eliminate processed, sugared, and junk foods from the diet.
In case there is an inflammation in the ear which causes the hearing loss: Mullein oil can be put in the ear as ear drops. 2-4 drops of warm (not hot) garlic oil or liquid extract is also good. Do not use the same dropper in both ears, as it may spread the infection. Eat fresh pineapple.
If you seem to have pain in the ear, pull on the earlobe. If the pain increases, then you probably have an ear infection. If the pain does not increase, you may have a dental problem.
PREVENTIONAlways wear ear protection when using appliances or equipment which produce loud noises. This would include power tools, chain saws, lawn mowers, table or portable saws, and target practice. Use ear plugs rated for at least twice as many decibels as you need, to ensure protection.
When listening to music, it should never be so loud you cannot hear the ring of the doorbell or the telephone. If you use earphones, no one else should be able to hear sound from your earphones. If they can, you are playing the music too loud for the safety of your ears!
The average rock concert or stereo headset at higher levels (100 decibels, plus) can damage your hearing in 30 minutes. Two hours in a video game arcade can do the same thing. By comparison, an air hammer is 120 decibels.
Wear ear plugs when swimming in public places.
Reduce your cholesterol level. Those with high cholesterol have greater hearing loss as they age.
Do not get German measles while you are pregnant. If you are vaccinated for it, do not become pregnant for 3 months afterward. The ensuing birth defects to the child could include hearing loss.
Beware of medications during pregnancy.
Make sure your infant has good hearing. If not discovered, he or she will miss much instruction in a variety of speaking skills. Generally, you will be the first one to learn if such a problem exists, not the doctor.
ENCOURAGEMENTThe Bible reveals how we can be saved. From Eden lost to Eden restored, it tells the entire story of salvation in Christ. Read that precious book, and you will be blessed and be a blessing to others.
SYMPTOMSA disease of the inner ear, characterized by recurring episodes of ringing in the ears (tinnitus), loss of balance, and severe dizziness (vertigo). There is progressive deafness and a sensation of fullness in the ears. Sudden movement during an attack can induce nausea and vomiting. Sometimes there is an uncontrollable horizontal jerking of the eyeballs.
The condition may affect one or both ears. It generally occurs in adults (most often in women, 50-60 years old). The onset is sudden. It may last for hours or weeks, and then return soon again, after years. In most instances, it is experienced only in one ear, and can result in complete deafness in that ear.
Vertigo is the sensation that the world is turning around you. Meniere's syndrome accounts for 10-15% of all vertigo (and 5% of all dizziness).
(Also see "Vertigo.")
CAUSESThis often results from a metabolic problem, resulting from a disturbed carbohydrate metabolism, such as is found in hypoglycemia.
Impaired blood flow to the brain may be a causative factor. Those experiencing Meniere's syndrome often have a history of vasomotor rhinitis, ear trouble, and allergies.
Autopsies reveal an edema in the membranous labyrinth.
Other possible causes may include allergies, viruses, infections, and hormonal intolerances.
Symptoms exactly like Meniere's syndrome can be caused by a cholesteatoma. This is a tumor-like growth in the middle ear, which gradually pushes on the central nervous system. Consulting with a specialist might be of help in diagnosing the cause.
In some instances this is misdiagnosed; and it is actually salicylism, from excessive self-medication of aspirin. That can also cause deafness, ringing in the ears, dizziness, headache, vomiting, confusion, and hyperventilation in the later stages. If that is the cause, stop all taking of aspirin immediately.
Fluid retention in the semicircular canals might be putting pressure on the delicate nerves of the inner ear.
A general cleansing routine is often met with excellent results. This would include fasting for 3-7 days on vegetable juices, which would be repeated every six weeks. In between, a solid nutritious diet, composed of lots of vegetables, seaweed, seeds, nuts, beans, etc., should be eaten.
Vitamins A, B complex (including B6, niacin, pantothenic acid), and especially vitamin C. Calcium is also needed. A lack of manganese can cause deafness, dizziness, and ear noises. A lack of magnesium can produce nerve twitching and sensitivity to noise.
Drink enough water.
Eliminate white flour products, white sugar, unsaturated fats, excess salt intake, caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol. An oil free diet may improve circulation in the tiny capillaries. Smoking induces constriction and spasm of the blood vessels. In one study, 9 out of 10 patients improved, when placed on a low-salt diet.
In another study, allergies to milk, eggs, corn, wheat, and yeast sometimes caused Meniere's. Eliminating them essentially terminated the problem. Stop using all of the above foods; then gradually reintroduce one at a time, and see which might be bothering you.
Variations in glucose levels can prompt Meniere's. A New York study indicated that, when insulin levels are normal, the patient seldom has tinnitus, vertigo, fullness in the ear, or variable hearing loss.
Gradually increase the amount of out-of-door exercise. Breath deeply as you do it. This will help the circulation in the head.
Use one bowl for hot water and one for cold, once or twice a day, and take a hot and cold head bath. Immerse the head in the hot, for 30-60 seconds, and then plunge it into ice cold. (If elderly, weakened, or with a heart condition, begin with less extreme temperatures.)
Herbs which may help include cayenne, gotu kola, butcher's broom, ginkgo biloba, and ginger.
At the time of an attack, lying quietly on the affected side, with eyes turned in the direction of the affected ear may help reduce the immediate crisis.
If helping someone with this problem, let him move about at his own rate. Avoid jarring him. When speaking to him, stand directly in front so he will not have to turn his head (which can add to the vertigo).
Also see "Vertigo," and "Tinnitus."
ENCOURAGEMENTDo not try to manage your own life. You cannot do it as well as God can do it for you. Work with Him. Surrender your plans to Him, to be laid down or taken up as He sees best.
SYMPTOMSSounds in the ear: ringing; whistling; roaring; hissing; chirping; buzzing; and whining cricket sounds, when there is no outside physical source for these sounds. At first, they come and go; in advanced stages, the sound is constant. No one else hears them.
There are reported instances in which others have heard the sounds from as much as 4 feet from the person's ear. "Tinnitus," in Latin, means "to tinkle," or a "bell-like ring."
The frequency of tinnitus increases with age. The left ear seems to produce the sounds more often than the right ear. About 75% of deaf people report tinnitus.
CAUSESThere are several possible causes, including an irritation of nerve endings in the ear by loud noises. Chemicals and drugs can injure the internal ear. Prescription drugs can produce tinnitus or hearing loss (beware of quinine and aspirin). Nicotine constricts blood vessels and may be the cause. Other causes are lead; aluminum; mercury poisoning; impacted wax; hormonal problems; high blood pressure; severe blows to the head; anemia; perforation of the tympanic membrane; fluid in the middle ear; epilepsy; migraine; food allergy; Meniere's disease; hypothyroidism; multiple sclerosis; as well as repeated and prolonged exposure to loud noises. Whatever the cause, stress sometimes adds to it.
Tinnitus is not a sign of a more serious problem or a precursor of any serious diseaseunless it is associated with Meniere's Disease (which see).
Surgical success rates are very low. Beware of "tinnitus maskers." These products can cause hearing loss.
Do the pulse test to check on problem foods. Have a hair analysis made. Find the cause and eliminate it. A 1981 medical study pointed to coffee, tea, tonic water, red wine, grain-based spirits, chocolate, and cheese as the most common dietary causes of tinnitus.
Mix 1 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. glycerin in 1 pint warm water. Several times a day, using a nasal sprayer, spray each nostril until it begins draining into the back of the throat; also spray the throat.
Get a nourishing diet, and include trace minerals (Norwegian kelp or Nova Scotia dulse), vitamin A, calcium, magnesium, and betaine HCl.
A lack of manganese can cause deafness, dizziness, and ear noises. A lack of magnesium can produce nerve twitching and sensitivity to noise.
Changing and correcting the diet, reducing stress, and getting more exercise out-of-doors has been helpful in dealing with tinnitus. Stress causes more adrenaline to be produced which, in turn, constricts blood vessels and keeps waste products from being as quickly eliminated.
Remember that fatigue increases the problem. An important help is to go to bed and get up on a regular, healthful, schedule.
Avoid loud noises and noisy situations. Alcohol makes tinnitus worse. Caffeine is a common cause. Marijuana and cocaine intensify the problem. Aspirin is a known cause of tinnitus, also blood pressure and arthritis drugs. Also beware of steroids, anticonvulsive medications, vasodilators, and anticholesterol drugs. Nicotine damages the hearing.
Make sure the colon is working well. An enema will help with this.
Worthwhile herbs would include bugleweed, garlic, gotu kola, cayenne, and prickly ash.
Also see "Meniere's Disease."
ENCOURAGEMENTChrist desires to give you the riches of eternal life with Him. What can compare with that? Do not wait any longer. Come to Him right now. Kneel down alone and pray to Him right now.