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MoonDragon's Health & Wellness
HEARING LOSS




BASIC INFORMATION


"For Informational Use Only"
For more detailed information contact your health care provider
about options that may be available for your specific situation.


ear anatomy


DESCRIPTION

Hearing loss occurs when the passage of sound waves to the brain is impaired. Hearing loss may be partial or complete, temporary or permanent, depending on the cause. An estimated 50 to 60 percent of hearing loss has a genetic component. Hearing loss can occur at any age, but it is most commonly diagnosed in the very young or very old. Hearing loss affects more than 24 million Americans, of whom 2 million are under the age of 18 years of age. Nearly 30 percent of adults over the age of 65 have sustained some degree of hearing impairment. Hearing loss is the third leading chronic health problem among American adults. Diagnosis and assessment of the degree of hearing loss is a complicated process involving a variety of different tests.

Hearing loss is not technically the same thing as deafness or hearing deficit. While hearing loss can lead to hearing deficit, deafness is an inability to hear that most often occurs at, or before birth or as a result of a major illness or infection. Health care providers divide hearing loss into three basic categories:
  • Conductive Hearing Loss, which occurs when the passage of sound waves is impeded in the external or middle ear.


  • Sensorineural Hearing Loss, which results from damage to the structures or pathways of the inner ear. This type of hearing loss affects both the acuity and clarity of hearing. Initially, it is noticed at higher pitches, and then, as it progresses, it is noticed at lower pitches, where speech is heard.


  • Central Hearing Loss, which is very rare and is usually due to severe brain damage.





CAUSES & SYMPTOMS

  • Conductive hearing loss may result from factors such as:
    • Ear wax buildup or impaction.
    • Changes in atmospheric pressure.
    • Middle ear infection and inflammation.
    • Excessive rigidity of the tiny bones in the middle ear that convey the vibrations of the eardrum to the inner ear structures.
    • Paget's Disease.
    • Arthritis.
    • Trauma to the ear drum.

  • Sensorineural hearing loss may result from:
    • Damage to the acoustic nerve (the eighth cranial nerve, also known as the auditory nerve), which carries information from the inner ear to the brain.
    • Damage to tiny cells called hair cells in the inner ear. The hair cells are responsible for translating sound waves into nerve impulses for transmission to the brain. If the hair cells die, they are unable to repair themselves and the resulting hearing loss is permanent.

    Sensorineural hearing loss can be present from birth, or it can be caused by:
    • Certain prescription medications including certain antibiotics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), aspirin taken over a long period of time in high doses, and quinine.
    • Illness, especially those involving high fever. Viral infection of the inner ear.
    • Meniere's disease.
    • Exposure to noises.
    • Smoking.
    • Trauma.

    It is also possible to have mixed hearing loss, in which both conductive and sensorineural loss are present. Hearing loss can be sudden or gradual, occurring over a period of days, weeks, or years. Neural hearing loss usually occurs as a result of a brain tumor or stroke.

  • Sudden Loss of Hearing: Infection, trauma, changes in atmospheric pressure, and earwax buildup or impaction can cause a sudden loss of hearing. Infection and inflammation often follow an upper respiratory infection or trauma to the ear, such as from the overuse or improper use of cotton swabs. Bathing or swimming in water that is overly chlorinated or contains high levels of bacteria and/or fungi can also lead to ear infections. Persistent and recurrent ear infections are often linked to fungal infection (candidiasis) and are frequently seen in people with allergies, cancer, diabetes, or other chronic disease.


  • Gradual Loss of Hearing: If hearing loss develops gradually, the individual experiencing it may be unaware of it until it reaches a fairly advanced stage. In fact, it is not uncommon for friends and family members to notice signs of hearing loss before the person experiencing it does. Some signs that may point to a hearing problem include:
    • Seeming inattentiveness.
    • Unusually loud speech.
    • Irrelevant comments.
    • Inappropriate responses to questions or environmental sounds.
    • Requests for statements to be repeated.
    • A tendency to turn one ear toward sound.
    • Unusual voice quality.

    PAIN & HEARING LOSS

  • Hearing loss associated with ear pain may result from:
    • Eardrum damage, strain, or perforation.
    • An infected cyst in the eardrum or middle ear.
    • Mastoiditis (inflammation of the mastoid, the bone behind the ear).
    • Metabolic disorders such as hypothyroidism.
    • Vascular disorders such as hypertension.
    • Neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis.
    • Blood disorders such as leukemia.
    • Tooth and/or mouth disorders.

  • Hearing loss associated without ear pain may result from:
    • Acoustic neuroma (a benign tumor in the cells covering the acoustic nerve).
    • Infection of the inner ear.
    • Osteosclerosis (overgrowth of bone in the middle ear).
    • Kidney dysfunction.
    • Paget's disease of bone.
    • Meniere's disease.
    • Hearing loss can also occur if the bones of the skull are out of alignment with one another.

    COMMON ADULT HEARING DISORDERS

    One-third of people over the age of 65 have problems with their hearing. Aging is a major factor in loss of the ability to hear the full range of frequencies in everyday communication.

    Two of the most common hearing disorders in adults are presbycusis and tinnitus.
    • Presbycusis is the gradual loss of hearing due to aging. It is prevalent in adults over the age of 50 years and involves the loss of the ability to hear high-frequency noises, which usually comes first with age-related hearing impairment. Presbycusis can be caused by a change in the blood supply to the ear due to heart disease, some diabetic conditions, or circulatory problems.


    • Tinnitus is experienced as a continuous buzzing, hissing or ringing in the ears with no obvious cause or a cause by anything in the external environment. It is now thought that the noise originates in the brain and not in the ear, as was previously believed. It may occur by itself or as a symptom of another disorder, such as infection, obstruction of the ear canal, head trauma, noise-induced hearing loss, or Meniere's disease. If the ear is damaged by exposure to loud noises or certain medications (including aspirin), the brain may try to compensate and end up producing electrical signals that a person hears as a ringing noise in the ears. University of Iowa claim that listening strategies could break the pattern responsible for the problem in the brain. Tinnitus is a condition that occurs in about 85 percent of people with hearing loss. More than 50 million Americans experience some degree of tinnitus, and about 12 million have it so badly that they seek medical attention and 2 million are disabled by it.

    INFANT & CHILD HEARING LOSS

    Suspected hearing deficits in infants deserve close and immediate attention, as an undiagnosed hearing impairment can lead to delayed and/or diminished acquisition of language skills and, possibly learning disabilities. Risk factors for hearing loss:
    • A family history of hearing loss and known hereditary disorders.
    • Congenital abnormalities of the ears, nose, or throat.
    • Maternal exposure to rubella or syphilis.
    • Ototoxic drugs such as tobramycin (Nebrin), streptomycin, gentamicin (Garamycin), quinine (Quinamm), furosemide (Lasix), or ethacrynic acid (Edecrin).
    • Birth related problems such as prematurity, trauma and/or lack of oxygen during delivery, low birth weight, Usher syndrome, or jaundice.

  • Otitis media (middle ear infection) is the most common cause of hearing loss in children. For the most part, this is temporary, but chronic or recurrent ear infection can cause permanent hearing loss due to inflammation and infection of the middle ear. Sensorinerual hearing loss in children can also be caused by childhood diseases such as meningitis, mumps, and rubella.


  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Ear Infection

  • Warning Signs of hearing problems in infancy include:
    • Failure to turn the head toward familiar sounds.
    • A consistent ability to sleep through loud noises.
    • Greater responsiveness to loud noises than to voices.
    • A failure to babble, coo, or squeal.
    • Monotonal babbling.

  • Warning Signs of hearing problems in toddlers include:
    • Failure to speak clearly by age two.
    • Showing no interest in being read to or in playing word games.
    • Habitual yelling or shrieking when communicating or playing.
    • Greater responsiveness to facial expressions than to speech.
    • Shyness or withdrawal (often misinterpreted as inattentiveness, dreaminess, and/or stubbornness).
    • Frequent confusion and puzzlement.

  • Warning Signs of hearing problems in older children are similar to those in adulthood and include:
    • A failure to respond to verbal requests.
    • Inappropriate responses to questions or other sound stimuli.
    • A seeming inattentiveness.

    Many children suffer from auditory processing disorders (APD), which are disruptions, or dysfunctions, in the neural pathways that transmit hearing information from the ear to the brain. A child with APD might have excellent hearing but cannot effectively process what is heard. Despite having normal hearing, they often miss what people are saying. Signs of APD are:
    • Frequent response is "What?" or "Huh?"
    • Trouble following or inability to follow multistage directions.
    • Considerable difficulty understanding speech in the presence of background noise.

    HEARING LOSS AND NOISE

    Hearing loss caused by exposure to loud noises (noise pollution) is an increasing problem in our society today. When the delicate mechanisms of the inner ear are assaulted by loud noises, a phenomenon called temporary threshold shift occurs. If you have ever walked away from a concert or a construction site with a buzzing or hissing in your ears, or with everything sounding as if you are underwater, you have experienced temporary threshold shift. While overnight rest usually restores normal hearing, this is a sign that damage has occurred to the hair cells in your inner ear, and if this type of damage is lengthy and/or repeated, permanent threshold shift (PTS), with permanent damage and hearing loss will be the eventual result.

    There are a number of terms - some clinical, some informal - used to distinguish among the sources of noise-related hearing loss. Boilermaker's ear is a condition caused by heavy exposure to broad-band noise. The affected individual loses the ability to hear high-frequency sounds and has difficulty in understanding spoken words. Diplacusis is a form of hearing loss experienced as sound distortion - the pitch of a given tone is hear differently by each ear. Hyperacusis is an extreme sensitivity to loud noises that can be caused by damage to the eardrum. Sociocusis is a term used to denote hearing loss from non-work-related exposure to noise.

    Most people who develop noise-related hearing loss say they were unaware that anything was wrong until they developed tinnitus or speech became inaudible, but in fact, the damage begins long before that and temporary threshold shift is a clear sign of it.

    Noise-related hearing loss is common in train engineers, military personnel, and workers subjected to constant industrial noise, as well as in hunters and musicians, especially rock musicians. Recent National Institutes of Health (NIH) statistics indicate that as much as one=third of all hearing loss is associated with loud noises, and while conclusive data are as yet lacking, many researchers believe that more young people are losing their hearing today than in previous years. The National Center for Health Statistics reports that young people account for one-third of today's hearing loss statistics. They also report that in most cases, this type of hearing loss could have been prevented.





    PREVENTION

  • For earwax buildup, clean or irrigate your ears using either a solution of 1 part vinegar to 1 part warm water or a few drops of hydrogen peroxide. Using an eyedropper, place a few drops in your ear, allow them to settle for a minute, then drain. Repeat the process with the other ear. Do this two or three times a day. Do not use cotton swabs to clean the inside of the ear canal, as this can push wax further into the ear canal and exacerbate the problem. 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. Be patient, continue to irrigate the ear canal, and flush with warm water. Most cases of earwax buildup can be treated by this method.


  • Another method of removing excess earwax, called ear candling or ear coning, uses special candles available at health food stores. Instructions for the procedure are included with the candles. The candling procedure requires assistance, so do not attempt this by yourself. See Alternative Therapies: Ear Candling (Coning) for more information and resources.


  • When flying or traveling where there will be a great change in altitude, chew gum during the descent to prevent the discomfort and hearing loss associated with changes in atmospheric pressure. Or pop your ears by holding your nose and gently blowing air through your closed mouth. This clears the eustachian tubes. A decongestant such as pseudoephedrine (found in Sudafed and other products) may also be helpful, but remember, these medications are dehydrating (and so is the lack of humidity in an airplane cabin). If you use them, be sure to drink plenty of water and juice during the flight, and skip the cocktail and coffee, as alcohol and caffeine also are dehydrating.


  • Always wear ear protection (disposable ear plugs or ear-phone style) when using loud appliances such as power tools or lawn mowers and when you know you are going to be exposed to sudden loud noises, such as when shooting a gun. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends using ear plugs rated for at least twice as many decibels as you need to ensure protection.


  • Protect your ears when listening to music. A general guideline is to keep the volume low enough that you can easily hear the telephone and other sounds over the music. If you are using a personal stereo unit with headphones, you should be the only one able to hear your music. If someone standing next to you can hear it, it's too loud.


  • Take measures to reduce your cholesterol level. Studies suggest that people with high cholesterol levels have greater hearing loss as they age than people with normal cholesterol levels. See High Cholesterol for more information.


  • If you are prone to ear infections, wear ear plugs while swimming.


  • If you are planning to become pregnant, make sure you have achieved immunity to German measles (Rubella), either through having had the disease or through considering vaccination. A health care provider or midwife can perform a blood test to determine immunity. If you choose to become vaccinated, you must guard against becoming pregnant for at least three months to avoid the risk of serious birth defects, such as hearing loss. If you are not immune and you choose not to obtain vaccination, avoid exposure to anyone that may have been exposed or may be ill with the measles. See Rubella for more information.


  • If you become ill during pregnancy and medication is required, question your health care provider, pharmacist, or midwife thoroughly about possible side effects on the developing fetus and do some research on your own. This will reduce the risk of giving birth to a child with impaired hearing (as well as other birth defects or problems).




  • TREATMENT


    DIAGNOSIS

  • If you have an infant, pay very close attention to his or her reactions to noises. If you have any doubt about your child's hearing, consult with your health care provider. Be aware, however, that many physicians are not expert at picking up on hearing loss. If your health care provider seems too quick to dismiss your concerns, talk to another provider. Keep in mind that early detection is vitally important since detection of hearing loss before a child's first birthday greatly reduces the chances that he or she will be disadvantaged by hearing problems in the years to come.


  • If you have experienced permanent hearing loss, advise family members, friends, and co-workers to speak slowly and distinctly, and avoid shouting. Depending on the nature of the hearing loss, a hearing aid may be helpful. Consult with your health care provider or a professional audiologist.



  • HEARING LOSS SELF-TEST


    The following is a quick test for hearing loss that you can do easily on your own:

    Rub your thumb and index finger together a few inches from your ear. If you can hear a scratching sound, your hearing is probably intact. If not, you may be experiencing hearing loss.

    Consult a health care provider or audiologist for further evaluation.






    PHYSICAL EXAMINATION

    A physical examination may show wax in the ear that can be a contributing factor. It may also detect a rupture of the eardrum or external ear infection. Often the exam is unrevealing and an Audiology Test or other testing may be used to determine extent of hearing loss.

    AUDIOLOGY
    (Audiography, Audiogram, Audiometry, Hearing Test)


    An audiology exam tests your ability to hear sounds. Sounds vary according to the intensity (volume or loudness) and the tone (the speed of sound wave vibrations).

    Hearing occurs when sound waves are conducted to the nerves of the inner ear and from there to the brain. Sound waves can travel to the inner ear by air conduction (through the ear canal, eardrum, and bones of the middle ear) or bone conduction (through the bones around and behind the ear).

    INTENSITY of sound is measured in decibels (dB):
    • A whisper is about 20 dB.
    • Loud music (some concerts) is around 80 to 120 dB.
    • A jet engine is about 140 to 180 dB.

    Usually, sounds greater than 85 dB can cause hearing loss in a few hours. Louder sounds can cause immediate pain, and hearing loss can develop in a very short time.

    TONE of sound is measured in cycles per second (cps) or Hertz (Hz):
    • Low bass tones range around 50 to 60 Hz.
    • Shrill, high-pitched tones range around 10,000 Hz or higher.

    TEST PREPARATION: No special preparation is needed for this test.

    For infants and children: The preparation you can provide for this or any procedure depends on your child's age, interests, previous experiences, and level of trust. For older children, research has shown that preparing ahead can reduce crying or resisting the procedure. In addition, children report less pain and show less distress. Proper preparation for a test or procedure that can reduce an older child's anxiety, encourage cooperation, and help develop coping skills. Knowing this from the onset may help relieve some of your anxiety about what to expect. Having specific information about the test may further reduce your anxiety. For more information please see the appropriate test. For specific information regarding how you can prepare your child:
    • INFANTS (0 TO 1 YEAR): Given the developmental level of your child (0 to 1 year), little pre-test preparation will be of benefit, but some considerations may ease your anxiety. Before the test, know that your child probably will cry, and restraints may be used. But the most important way you can help your child through this procedure is by being there and showing you care. During any infant test or procedure a child will be more comforted if a parent is able to be present, although the child will probably still show anxiety and cry. A child may also find comfort in a favorite toy or blanket. Crying is a normal response to the strange environment, unfamiliar people, restraints, and separation from you. Your infant will cry more for these reasons than because the test or procedure is uncomfortable.


    • TODDLER (1 TO 3 YEARS): Proper preparation for a test or procedure can minimize anxiety and help a child cope. Before the test, know that your child probably will cry and that preparation may not change the fact that your child will feel some discomfort or pain. You can try the use of play in demonstrating what will happen during the test and in discovering your child's concerns. The most important way you can help your child is through this kind of preparation and by providing support around the time of the procedure.


    • PRESCHOOLER (4 TO 6 YEARS): Preparation can be effective in reducing distress in children undergoing medical tests and can minimize the amount of crying and resistance to the procedure. Research finds that lowering anxiety can actually decrease the sensation of pain felt by people during uncomfortable procedures. Before the test, know that your child probably will cry and that preparation may not change the fact that your child will feel some discomfort or pain. You can try demonstrating what will happen during the test in advance to learn about your child's particular fears and concerns. Using a doll or other object to "act out" some of the procedure may help reveal worries that the child may not be willing to discuss directly. This can help reduce your child's anxiety, because most people are more frightened of the unknown than they are when they know exactly what to expect. If a child's fears are unrealistic, you can explain what will actually happen; if he or she is worried about something that is an unavoidable part of the test, do not minimize his or her concerns but reassure the child that you will be there to help as much as you can. Make sure your child understands that the procedure is not a punishment. The most important way you can help your child is through this kind of preparation and by providing support around the time of the procedure.


    • SCHOOL AGE (6 TO 12 YEARS): Before the test, know that your child probably will cry and that preparation may not change the fact that your child will feel some discomfort or pain. You can try the use of play in demonstrating what will happen during the test and in discovering your child's concerns. The most important way you can help your child is through this kind of preparation and by providing support around the time of the procedure. Explaining the procedure will also be of value in reducing your child's anxiety. Let your child participate and make as many decisions as possible.


    • ADOLESCENT (12 TO 18 YEARS): There are a number of ways to help an adolescent prepare for a difficult medical test or procedure. First, provide detailed information and explain reasons for the procedure. You can use videos in which other adolescents do the teaching to demonstrate the procedure and provide information, if available. Let your child participate and make as many decisions as possible. Depending on his or her age and independence, your child may or may not wish you to be present during the procedure, and his or her wishes should be respected. During adolescence privacy is important and should be protected.

    TEST USES: The normal range of human hearing is about 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz, and some animals can hear up to about 50,000 Hz.

    This may be a screening test to detect a hearing loss at an early stage. It may also be used when there is difficulty in hearing from any cause. This test may determine the extent of hearing loss.

    TEST PROCEDURE: The first steps are used to estimate the need for an audiogram. The specific procedures may vary, but they generally involve blocking one ear at a time and checking for the ability to hear whispers, then spoken words or the sound of a ticking watch. A tuning fork may be used. The tuning fork is tapped and held in the air on each side of the head to test the ability to hear by air conduction. It is tapped and placed against the mastoid bone behind each ear to test bone conduction. Audiometry provides a more precise measurement of hearing. Air conduction is tested by having you wear earphones attached to the audiometer. Pure tones of controlled intensity are delivered, to one ear at a time. You are asked to raise a hand, press a button, or otherwise indicate when you hear a sound. The minimum intensity (volume) required to hear each tone is graphed. An attachment called a bone oscillator is placed against the bone behind each ear (mastoid bone) to test bone conduction.

    There is no discomfort. The length of time varies. An initial screening may take about 5 to 10 minutes. Detailed audiometry may take about 1 hour.

    TEST RESULTS: Normal and Abnormal Values

    Normal Test Values:
    • The ability to hear a whisper, normal speech, and a ticking watch is normal.
    • The ability to hear a tuning fork through air and bone is normal.
    • In detailed audiometry, hearing is normal if tones from 250 Hz through 8000 Hz can be heard at 25 dB or lower.

    Abnormal Test Results: There are many different kinds and degrees of hearing loss. Some include only the loss of the ability to hear high or low tones, or the loss of only air or bone conduction. The inability to hear pure tones below 25 dB indicates some extent of hearing loss. The extent and kind of hearing loss may give clues to the cause and the prognosis (probable outcome). The following conditions may affect test results:
    • Acoustic Neuroma - Also called a vestibular schwannoma, is a benign primary intracranial tumor of the myelin-forming cells of the vestibulocochlear nerve.
    • Acoustic Trauma - Damage to the hearing mechanisms within the inner ear.
    • Age-Related Hearing Loss
    • Alport Syndrome - This is an inherited form of kidney inflammation (nephritis). It is caused by a mutation in a gene for a protein in connective tissue, called collagen.
    • Labyrinthitis - Inflammation of the inner ear or labyrinth.
    • Meniere's Disease - This is a disorder of the inner ear that can affect hearing and balance.
    • Occupational Hearing Loss
    • Otosclerosis - This is a disease of the bones of the middle and inner ear resulting in the ossicles (bones) become knit together into an immovable mass, and do not transmit sound as well as when they are more flexible.
    • Ruptured or Perforated Eardrum

    SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS: There are many hearing function tests, from simple screenings (such as producing a loud noise and observing the test subject for a startle response) to complex, detailed measurements such as the brainstem auditory evoked responses test (BAER), in which an electroencephalogram is used to detect brain wave response to sounds.

    RISKS: There is no risk.


    SKULL X-RAY
    (Head X-ray, Skull Radiography)


    The skull X-ray is used to examine the bones of the skull, including the facial bones, the nose, and the sinuses. This test may be performed when there has been trauma and/or injury to the skull or when symptoms indicate a disorder involving structural abnormalities may be present inside the skull (such as tumors or bleeding). The X-ray is also used to evaluate an unusually shaped child's head.

    TEST PREPARATION: Inform the health care provider if you are pregnant. Remove all jewelry.

    Infants and children: The physical and psychological preparation you can provide for this or any test or procedure depends on your child's age, interests, previous experiences, and level of trust. For older children, research has shown that preparing ahead can reduce crying or resisting the procedure. In addition, children report less pain and show less distress. Proper preparation for a test or procedure that can reduce an older child's anxiety, encourage cooperation, and help develop coping skills. For specific information regarding how you can prepare your child, see the following topics as they correspond to your child's age:
    • INFANT (0 TO 1 YEAR): Given the developmental level of your child (0 to 1 year), little pre-test preparation will be of benefit, but some considerations may ease your anxiety. Before the test, know that your child probably will cry, and restraints may be used. But the most important way you can help your child through this procedure is by being there and showing you care. Crying is a normal response to the strange environment, unfamiliar people, restraints, and separation from you. Your infant will cry more for these reasons than because the test or procedure is uncomfortable. Knowing this from the onset may help relieve some of your anxiety about what to expect. Having specific information about the test may further reduce your anxiety.


    • TODDLER (1 TO 3 YEARS): Proper preparation for a test or procedure can minimize anxiety and help a child cope. Before the test, know that your child probably will cry and that preparation may not change the fact that your child will feel some discomfort or pain. You can try the use of play in demonstrating what will happen during the test and in discovering your child's concerns. The most important way you can help your child is through this kind of preparation and by providing support around the time of the procedure.


    • PRESCHOOLER (4 TO 6 YEARS): Preparation can be effective in reducing distress in children undergoing medical tests and can minimize the amount of crying and resistance to the procedure. Research finds that lowering anxiety can actually decrease the sensation of pain felt by people during uncomfortable procedures. Before the test, know that your child probably will cry and that preparation may not change the fact that your child will feel some discomfort or pain. You can try demonstrating what will happen during the test in advance to learn about your child's particular fears and concerns. Using a doll or other object to "act out" some of the procedure may help reveal worries that the child may not be willing to discuss directly. This can help reduce your child's anxiety, because most people are more frightened of the unknown than they are when they know exactly what to expect. If a child's fears are unrealistic, you can explain what will actually happen; if he or she is worried about something that is an unavoidable part of the test, do not minimize his or her concerns but reassure the child that you will be there to help as much as you can. Make sure your child understands that the procedure is not a punishment. The most important way you can help your child is through this kind of preparation and by providing support around the time of the procedure.


    • SCHOOL AGE (6 TO 12 YEARS): Before the test, know that your child probably will cry and that preparation may not change the fact that your child will feel some discomfort or pain. You can try the use of play in demonstrating what will happen during the test and in discovering your child's concerns. The most important way you can help your child is through this kind of preparation and by providing support around the time of the procedure. Explaining the procedure will also be of value in reducing your child's anxiety. Let your child participate and make as many decisions as possible.


    • ADOLESCENT (12 TO 18 YEARS): There are a number of ways to help an adolescent prepare for a difficult medical test or procedure. First, provide detailed information and explain reasons for the procedure. You can use videos in which other adolescents do the teaching to demonstrate the procedure and provide information, if available. Let your child participate and make as many decisions as possible. Depending on his or her age and independence, your child may or may not wish you to be present during the procedure, and his or her wishes should be respected. During adolescence privacy is important and should be protected.

    TEST PROCEDURE: The test is performed in a hospital radiology department or in the health care provider's office by an X-ray technician. You will be asked to lie on the X-ray table or sit in a chair. Your head may be placed in a number of positions. Generally, there is little or no discomfort during an X-ray. If there is a head injury, positioning the head may be uncomfortable.

    ABNORMAL TEST RESULTS: A skull X-ray may show fractures, tumors, erosion or decalcification of the bone, or shifts in the soft tissues inside the skull. The X-ray may detect increased intracranial pressure, and congenital (existing at birth) anomalies (unusual structure). Additional conditions under which the test may be performed include the following:
    • Dementia - This is a loss of brain function. It is not a single disease. Instead, dementia refers to a group of illnesses that involve memory, behavior, learning, and communicating problems. The problems are progressive, which means they slowly get worse.
    • Friedreich's Ataxia - This is an inherited disease that causes progressive damage to the nervous system resulting in symptoms ranging from gait disturbance and speech problems to heart disease.
    • Hydrocephalus - Also known as water on the brain, developmental (congenital) or acquired condition in which there is an abnormal accumulation of body fluids within the skull.
    • Malocclusion of Teeth - The teeth are not aligned properly.
    • Mastoiditis - This is an infection of the mastoid process, the portion of the temporal bone of the skull that is behind the ear.
    • Meningitis - This is inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord, known collectively as the meninges.
    • Multi-Infarct Dementia - Also known as vascular dementia, is the second most common form of dementia after Alzheimer disease (AD) in the elderly (persons over 65 years of age). The term refers to a group of syndromes caused by different mechanisms all resulting in vascular lesions in the brain.
    • Occupational hearing loss.
    • Otitis Media, Chronic - Recurring or persistent inflammation or infection of the middle ear.
    • Otosclerosis - This is a disease of the bones of the middle and inner ear. The ossicles (bones) become knit together into an immovable mass, and do not transmit sound as well as when they are more flexible.
    • Petit Mal Seizure - This is a temporary disturbance of brain function caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain and characterized by abrupt, short-term lack of conscious activity ("absence") or other abnormal change in behavior.
    • Pituitary Tumor - This is an abnormal growth of cells within the pituitary gland.
    • Senile dementia, Alzheimer's type (SDAT) - Also referred to as Alzheimer's disease (AD), one form of dementia, is a progressive, degenerative brain disease. It affects memory, thinking, and behavior.
    • Acute sinusitis - This is a bacterial infection in one or more sinuses, which include the maxillary, ethmoid, and frontal sinuses.
    • Chronic sinusitis - This is an inflammatory process that involves the paranasal sinuses and persists for 12 weeks or longer.

    SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS: A CT scan of the head is often preferable to a skull x-ray to evaluate head injuries.

    RISKS: There is low radiation exposure. X-rays are monitored and regulated to provide the minimum amount of radiation exposure needed to produce the image. Most experts feel that the risk is low compared with the benefits. Pregnant women and children are more sensitive to the risks associated with X-rays.


    CRANIAL CT-SCAN
    (Head CT Scan, Skull CT Scan, Sinus ST Scan, Orbits CT Scan)


    A cranial CT scan involves computed tomography of the head, including the skull, brain, orbits (eyes), and sinuses. A CT scan is recommended to help:
    • Evaluate acute cranial-facial trauma.
    • Determine acute stroke.
    • Evaluate suspected subarachnoid or intracranial hemorrhage.
    • Evaluate headache.
    • Evaluate loss of sensory or motor function.
    • Determine if there abnormal development of the head and neck.
    • CT scans are also used to view the facial bones, jaw, and sinus cavities.

    TEST PREPARATION: Inform the health care provider if you are pregnant. Remove all jewelry.

    Infants and children: The physical and psychological preparation you can provide for this or any test or procedure depends on your child's age, interests, previous experiences, and level of trust. For older children, research has shown that preparing ahead can reduce crying or resisting the procedure. In addition, children report less pain and show less distress. Proper preparation for a test or procedure that can reduce an older child's anxiety, encourage cooperation, and help develop coping skills. For specific information regarding how you can prepare your child, see the following topics as they correspond to your child's age:
    • INFANT (0 TO 1 YEAR): Given the developmental level of your child (0 to 1 year), little pre-test preparation will be of benefit, but some considerations may ease your anxiety. Before the test, know that your child probably will cry, and restraints may be used. But the most important way you can help your child through this procedure is by being there and showing you care. Crying is a normal response to the strange environment, unfamiliar people, restraints, and separation from you. Your infant will cry more for these reasons than because the test or procedure is uncomfortable. Knowing this from the onset may help relieve some of your anxiety about what to expect. Having specific information about the test may further reduce your anxiety.


    • TODDLER (1 TO 3 YEARS): Proper preparation for a test or procedure can minimize anxiety and help a child cope. Before the test, know that your child probably will cry and that preparation may not change the fact that your child will feel some discomfort or pain. You can try the use of play in demonstrating what will happen during the test and in discovering your child's concerns. The most important way you can help your child is through this kind of preparation and by providing support around the time of the procedure.


    • PRESCHOOLER (4 TO 6 YEARS): Preparation can be effective in reducing distress in children undergoing medical tests and can minimize the amount of crying and resistance to the procedure. Research finds that lowering anxiety can actually decrease the sensation of pain felt by people during uncomfortable procedures. Before the test, know that your child probably will cry and that preparation may not change the fact that your child will feel some discomfort or pain. You can try demonstrating what will happen during the test in advance to learn about your child's particular fears and concerns. Using a doll or other object to "act out" some of the procedure may help reveal worries that the child may not be willing to discuss directly. This can help reduce your child's anxiety, because most people are more frightened of the unknown than they are when they know exactly what to expect. If a child's fears are unrealistic, you can explain what will actually happen; if he or she is worried about something that is an unavoidable part of the test, do not minimize his or her concerns but reassure the child that you will be there to help as much as you can. Make sure your child understands that the procedure is not a punishment. The most important way you can help your child is through this kind of preparation and by providing support around the time of the procedure.


    • SCHOOL AGE (6 TO 12 YEARS): Before the test, know that your child probably will cry and that preparation may not change the fact that your child will feel some discomfort or pain. You can try the use of play in demonstrating what will happen during the test and in discovering your child's concerns. The most important way you can help your child is through this kind of preparation and by providing support around the time of the procedure. Explaining the procedure will also be of value in reducing your child's anxiety. Let your child participate and make as many decisions as possible.


    • ADOLESCENT (12 TO 18 YEARS): There are a number of ways to help an adolescent prepare for a difficult medical test or procedure. First, provide detailed information and explain reasons for the procedure. You can use videos in which other adolescents do the teaching to demonstrate the procedure and provide information, if available. Let your child participate and make as many decisions as possible. Depending on his or her age and independence, your child may or may not wish you to be present during the procedure, and his or her wishes should be respected. During adolescence privacy is important and should be protected.

    TEST PROCEDURE: A head CT will produce an image from the upper neck to the top of the head. If the patient cannot keep his/her head still, immobilization may be necessary. All jewelry, glasses, dentures, and other metal should be removed from the head and neck to prevent artifacts. A contrast dye may be injected into a vein to further evaluate a mass. (The mass becomes brighter with contrast dye if it has a lot of blood vessels). Contrast dye is also used to produce an image of the blood vessels of the head and brain. The total amount of time in the CT scanner is usually a few minutes.

    As with any intravenous iodinated contrast injection, there may be a slight temporary burning sensation in the arm, metallic taste in the mouth, or whole body warmth. This is a normal occurrence and will subside in a few seconds. Otherwise, the CT scan is painless.

    ABNORMAL TEST RESULTS: There may be signs of trauma, bleeding (for example, chronic subdural hematoma or intracranial hemorrhage), stroke, masses or tumors, abnormal sinus drainage, sensorineural hearing loss, malformed bone or other tissues, brain abscess, cerebral atrophy (loss of brain tissue), brain tissue swelling, hydrocephalus (fluid collecting in the skull). Additional conditions under which the test may be performed: acoustic neuroma, acoustic trauma, acromegaly, acute (subacute) subdural hematoma, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, arteriovenous malformation (cerebral), benign positional vertigo, throat cancer, central pontine myelinolysis, cerebral aneurysm, Cushing's syndrome, deep intracerebral hemorrhage, delirium, dementia, dementia due to metabolic causes, drug-induced tremor, encephalitis, epilepsy, essential tremor, extradural hemorrhage, familial tremor, general paresis, generalized tonic-clonic seizure, hemorrhagic stroke, hepatic encephalopathy, Huntington's disease, hypertensive intracerebral hemorrhage, hypopituitarism, intracerebral hemorrhage, juvenile angiofibroma, labyrinthitis, lobar intracerebral hemorrhage, Ludwig's angina, mastoiditis, melanoma of the eye, Meniere's disease, meningitis, metastatic brain tumor, multi-infarct dementia, multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN) I, neurosyphilis, normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH), occupational hearing loss, optic glioma, orbital cellulitis, otitis media; chronic otosclerosis, partial (focal) seizure, partial complex seizure, petit mal seizure, pituitary tumor, primary brain tumor, primary lymphoma of the brain, prolactinoma, retinoblastoma, Reye's syndrome, schizophrenia, senile dementia/Alzheimer's type, acute sinusitis, stroke secondary to atherosclerosis, stroke secondary to cardiogenic embolism, stroke secondary to FMD, stroke secondary to syphilis, subarachnoid hemorrhage, syphilitic aseptic meningitis, temporal lobe seizure, toxoplasmosis, transient ischemic attack (TIA), Wilson's disease.





    CONVENTIONAL MEDICAL TREATMENT FOR HEARING LOSS

  • Appropriate treatment for hearing loss depends on the underlying cause.





  • CONSIDERATIONS

  • Food allergens, especially allergies to wheat and dairy products, can be the culprit in recurrent middle ear infections. See Allergies for more information.


  • If your infant is suffering from atopic dermatitis, eczema of the external ear, resulting in red, itchy, and scaling skin of the pinna, then avoid common food triggers such as eggs, peanuts, soy, wheat, and milk.


  • You can minimize the level of hearing loss you will experience as you grow older if you reduce your exposure to loud noises in the earlier years of your life. Hearing can also be improved with proper diet and supplements.


  • If you have to raise your voice to be heard over your surroundings, your environment is too noisy. You should try to limit your exposure to such places. If such exposure cannot be avoided, you should wear proper ear protection.


  • Most cases of early childhood hearing deficit are first detected by the parents, not health care providers. You know what is "normal" for your child and you are more likely to pick up on subtle signs of hearing difficulty during normal routines throughout the day. If you have concerns, discuss it and arrange hearing loss testing for your child.


  • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has established guidelines for workplace noise levels. For any 8-hour day, the noise level should not be above 90 decibels (dBA). Protective headphones should be provided if noise levels exceed 85 dBA for any period of time.


  • The average rock concert or stereo headset set at full blast (about 100 decibels) can damage your hearing in little as half an hour. Similar damage can occur after about two hours spent in a video game arcade.


  • Some researchers say that in addition to causing hearing loss, constant exposure to noise may lead to (or excerbate) impaired vision, impotence, heart disease, psychological disorders, and other health problems.


  • Any hearing loss that does not resolve on its own within two weeks should be evaluated by a professional. Some of the symptoms associated with hearing loss can be a sign of a serious health problem that requires treatment.


  • If you are concerned about your hearing, you can arrange to take a free hearing test over the telephone. The Dial-A-Hearing Screening Test is provided as a public service by Occupational Hearing Services. It is not a definitive test, but it can give some indication as to whether you have a hearing problem you may need to talk to a hearing specialist about.


  • Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed a cochlear implant, which is an electronic device containing electrodes that are surgically inserted into one of the structures of the inner ear to activate nerve fibers and allow sound signals to be transmitted to the brain. Hearing-impaired individuals who are candidates for this device are able to hear normal, everyday sounds.


  • HELPFUL TOLL-FREE RESOURCES

    Better Hearing Institute (800) 327-9355
    Captioned Films/Video for the Deaf Program (800) 237-6213
    The Deafness Research Foundation (800) 535-3323
    Dial A Hearing Screening Test (800) 222-3277
    Dial A Hearing Screening Test (800) 345-3277
    The EAR Foundation (800) 545-4327
    Hearing Information Center (800) 622-3277
    National Association for Hearing and Speech Action (800) 562-6265
    National Hearing Aid Society (800) 521-5247

    DEAF HELPLINE

  • ASHA Hearing and Speech Helpline - Information on speech, hearing and language disabilities. Referrals to ASHA certified clinics. Database of information on listening devices. Sponsored by American Speech Language and Hearing Association.

  • ASHA / Action Center
    10801 Rockville Pike
    Rockville, MD 20852
    Voice: 1-800-638-8255 (voice/TDD)
    Website: http://www.asha.org
    E-mail: actioncenter@asha.org

  • Hearing Aid - Provides general literature on hearing aids and hearing loss. Referrals to hearing instrument specialists. Leave name and address, information will be mailed. Sponsored by International Hearing Society.

  • International Hearing Society
    16880 Middlebelt Rd.
    Livonia, MI 48154
    Voice: 1-800-521-5247 (ext. 3) or 734-522-7200
    Website: http://www.ihsinfo.org
    E-mail: amarkey@ihsinfo.org

  • HEAR Now - Helps financially needy individuals obtain hearing aids. Collects used hearing aids for recycling. Information and referrals. Automated telephone line, leave message and call will be returned within two days.

  • HEAR Now
    6700 Washington Ave. S
    Eden Prairie, MN 55344-3404
    Voice: 1-800-648-4327
    Website: http://www.sotheworldmayhear.org
    E-mail: nonprofit@starkey.com

  • John Tracy Clinic for Preschool Deaf Children - Information and support for parents and preschool deaf children. Free correspondence course for parents.

  • John Tracy Clinic
    806 W. Adams Blvd.
    Los Angeles, CA 90007
    Voice: 1-800-522-4582
    Website: http://www.jtc.org


  • National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders - Referrals to national agencies on hearing, speech, language, smell, taste, voice and balance disorders. Publishes fact sheets, brochures, information packets and newsletters.

  • NIDCD Information Clearinghouse
    1 Communication Ave.
    Bethesda, MD 20892-3456
    Voice: 1-800-241-1044
    TDD: 1-800-241-1055
    Website: http://www.nidcd.nih.gov
    E-mail: nidcdinfo@nidcd.nih.gov

  • National Cued Speech Association - Encourages and supports the use of cued speech for communication, language development and literacy. Networking, literature, advocacy, phone support, conferences, family camps, information and referrals.

  • National Cued Speech Association
    5619 McLean Dr.
    Bethesda, MD 20814-1021
    Voice: 1-800-459-3529 or 301-915-8009 (voice/TTY)
    Website: http://www.cuedspeech.org
    E-mail: info@cuedspeech.org

  • Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP) - Provides free loan described and captioned educational media, clearinghouse of information related to educational media access and a gateway to Internet resources related to accessibility. Free registration and services. Sponsored by US Dept. of Education and administered by the National Association of the Deaf.

  • Described and Captioned Media Program
    1447 E. Main St.
    Spartanburg, SC 29307
    Voice: 1-800-237-6213
    Fax: 1-800-538-5636
    TDD: 1-800-237-6819
    Website: http://www.cfv.org
    E-mail: info@cvf.org

  • Better Hearing Institute - Information and literature on any hearing-related issue.

  • Better Hearing Institute
    515 King St., Suite 420
    Alexandria, VA 22314
    Voice: 1-800-327-9355 or 703-684-3391
    Website: http://www.betterhearing.org


  • Dial-A-Hearing Screening Test - Offers over the phone hearing screening for persons (aged 14+). Provides hearing information and referral services.

  • Dial-A-Hearing Screening Test
    P.O.Box 1880
    Media, PA 19063
    Voice: 1-800-222-3277
    E-mail: dahst@aol.com

  • DB-Link: National Consortion on Deaf/Blindness - Information and referral on education, health, employment, technology, communication, recreation for children who are deaf-blind and newsletter. All services are free of charge.

  • Voice: 1-800-438-9376
    TDD: 1-800-854-7013
    Website: http://nationaldb.org
    E-mail: info@nationaldb.org

    MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Ear Infection

    MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Meniere's Disease





    HERBAL & HOLISTIC RECOMMENDATIONS


    GENERAL RECOMMENDATIONS

  • For earwax buildup, clean and irrigate your ears using either a solution of 1 part vinegar to 1 part warm water, or a few drops of hydrogen peroxide. Using an eyedropper, place a few drops in your ear, allow them to settle for a minute, then drain. Repeat the process with the other ear. Do this two or three times a day. Do not use cotton swabs to clean inside the ear canal, as this can push wax further into the ear canal and exacerbate the problem. 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. Be patient, continue to irrigate the ear canal, and flush with warm water. Most cases of earwax buildup can be treated by this method. For difficult ear wax buildup, you can have this procedure performed by your health care provider. Another method of removing excess earwax, called ear candling, uses special candles available at health food stores or online. Instructions for the procedure are included with the candles. The candling procedure requires assistance, so do not attempt to do it by yourself.


  • Herbal Remedies: Ear Candling Products / Ear Candles

    Herbal Remedies: Ear Wax Information

    Herbal Remedies: Ear Oil, All Natural Ear Drops, White Egret, 2 fl. oz.

  • For an ear infection, put 2 to 4 drops of warm (not hot) liquid garlic extract in the effected ear. If both ears are infected, do not use the same eye dropper for both ears, as it may spread the infection. This treatment is very helpful for children.


  • If you are experiencing ear pain, tug on your earlobe. If this tug makes the ear hurt, you probably have an ear infection and should seek medical treatment. If the tug on the lobe does not hurt, the pain may be due to a dental problem.


  • When flying, chew gum during the plane's descent to prevent the discomfort and hearing loss associated with changes in atmospheric pressure. Or pop your ears by holding your nose and gently blowing air through your closed mouth. This clears the eustachian tubes. A decongestant such as pseudoephedrine (found in Sudafed and other products) may also be helpful, but remember, these medications are dehydrating (and so is the lack of humidity in an airplane cabin). If you use them, be sure to drink plenty of water and juice during the flight, and skip the cocktail and coffee, as alcohol and caffeine also are dehydrating.


  • Always wear ear protection (disposable plugs or an earphone-style headset) when using loud appliances such as power tools or lawn mowers; and when you know you will be exposed to sudden loud noises, such as when shooting a gun.


  • Amazon.com has a large selection of various types of ear protection products. Use the Amazon.com search box located further down on this page to do a search for more ear plugs and ear protection muffs. Here are only a small selection of products available from Amazon.com:



  • Protect your hearing when listening to music. A general guideline is to keep the volume low enough that you can easily hear the telephone and other sounds over the music. If you are using a personal stereo unit with head-phones, you should be the only one able to hear your music. If someone standing next to you can hear it, it is too loud.


  • If you are prone to ear infections, wear earplugs while swimming.


  • If you are planning to become pregnant, make sure you have achieved immunity to German measles, either through having had the disease or through vaccination. A health care provider or midwife can perform a blood test to determine immunity. If vaccination is necessary, you must guard against becoming pregnant for at least 3 months to avoid the risk of serious birth defects, such as hearing loss.


  • If you become ill during pregnancy and medication is required, question your health care provider, midwife, or pharmacist thoroughly about possible side effects on the developing fetus and do some research on your own. This will reduce the risk of giving birth to a child with impaired hearing.


  • If you have an infant, pay very close attention to his or her reactions to noises. If you have any doubt about your child's hearing, consult your health care provider. Be aware, however, that many health care providers fail to pick up on hearing loss. If your health care provider seems too quick to dismiss your concerns, talk to another health care provider. Keep in mind that early detection is vitally important; detection of hearing loss before a child's first birthday greatly reduces the chances that he or she will be disadvantaged by hearing problems in the years to come.


  • If you have experienced permanent hearing loss, advise family members, friends, and coworkers to speak slowly and distinctly, and avoid shouting. Depending on the nature of the hearing loss, a hearing aid may be helpful. Although 28 million Americans are known to be hearing impaired, only 6 million use a hearing aid. There are now several different types of hearing aids on the market, including the following:

  • Hearing loss due to infection that has destroyed or damaged the sound-conducting mechanism of the inner ear can now be corrected with surgery. Surgeons can rebuild the damaged section with artificial bone and restore the eardrum to its original state.





  • HERBS

  • Bayberry bark, Burdockroot, Goldenseal, Hawthorn leaf and flower, and Myrrh Gum purify the blood and counteract infection. Caution: Do not take Goldenseal internally on a daily basis for more than one week at a time, as it may disturb normal intestinal flora. Do not use it during pregnancy, and use it with caution if you are allergic to ragweed.


  • Echinacea aids poor equilibrium and reduces dizziness. It also fights infection and helps reduce congestion. It can be taken in tea or capsule form.


  • Ephedra, Eucalyptus, Hyssop, Mullein and Thyme have decongestant properties, which may alleviate ringing in ears.


  • Ginkgo Biloba helps to reduce dizziness and improves hearing loss related to reduced blood flow. Other herbs that may help to improve circulation and blood flow to the ear area include Butcher's Broom, Cayenne, Chamomile, Ginger root, Turmeric, and Yarrow.


  • To soothe inflammation and fight infection, Mullein Oil can be used as ear drops. If Mullein is not available, Garlic Oil or liquid extract may be substituted.




    NUTRITIONAL RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Eat fresh pineapple (contains bromelain) frequently to reduce inflammation.


  • Limit your consumption of alcohol and sugars, which encourage the growth of yeast. This is particularly important if you have recurrent ear infections and have been treated with antibiotics. Also eliminate or keep to a minimum your intake of caffeine, chocolate, and sodium.


  • Avoid saturated fats, which contribute to excess production of earwax.


  • Take measures to reduce your cholesterol level. Studies suggest that people with high cholesterol levels have greater hearing loss as they age than people with normal cholesterol levels.


  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: High Cholesterol





    NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS

    Unless otherwise specified, the dosages recommended here are for adults. For a child between the ages of 12 and 17, reduce the dose to 3/4 the recommended amount. For a child between 6 and 12, use 1/2 the recommended dose, and for a child under the age of 6, use 1/4 the recommended amount.

    NUTRIENTS
    Supplement Suggested Dosage Comments
    Important
    Coenzyme Q-10 30 mg daily. Powerful antioxidant. Crucial in the effectiveness of the immune system and circulation to the ears.
    CoQ10, Vegetarian Coenzyme, NOW Foods, 30 mg, 60 VCaps,
    CoQ10, Now Foods, 400 mg, 60 Softgels
    Coenzyme A As directed on label. Works well with CoQ10 in supporting the immune system.
    Pantethine (Coenzyme A Precursor), Highly Active Form of Vitamin B-5, 300 mg, NOW Foods, 60 Softgels
    Colloidal Silver As directed on label. Excellent antiviral agent. Can also be used as ear drops for infection or inflammation.
    Colloidal Silver, Trace Minerals, 8 fl. oz.,
    Colloidal Silver Liquid, SilvaSolution, 10 ppm, 16 fl. oz.,
    Colloidal Silver Liquid, SilvaSolution, Super Strength, Pro 50, 8 fl. oz.
    Manganese 10 mg daily. Take separately from calcium. Deficiency has been linked to ear disorders.
    Manganese Ionic Mineral Supplement, Fully Absorbable, 30 +/- ppm, 16 fl. oz.,
    Multi-Vitamin & Multi-Mineral Complex As directed on label. To provide a balance of all nutrients.
    Super Multi-Vitamin & Multi-Mineral, Pure Vital Earth, 32 fl. oz. (98% Bio-Available for Absorption), Damage Control Master Formula, High Potency, Multi-Vitamin & Mineral, 60 Packets (30 Day Supply)
    Potassium 99 mg daily. Important for a healthy nervous system and transmission of nerve impulses.
    Potassium Ionic Mineral Supplement, Fully Absorbable, 340 +/- ppm, 16 fl. oz.,
    Potassium Chelate, 100% Natural, Nature's Way, 99 mg, 100 Caps,
    Potassium Chloride Powder, NOW Foods, Vegetarian, 8 oz.
    Ultimate Oil
    (Nature's Secret)
    As directed on label. Blend oil of essential fatty acids. Helps reduce tendency to produce excessive earwax.
    Ultimate Oil, Essential Fatty Acids Supplement, Nature's Secret, 90 Softgels
    Vitamin A 15,000 IU daily. If you are pregnant, do not exceed 10,000 IU daily. To boost immunity, increase resistance to infection, and strengthen mucous membranes. Studies have shown benefits to hearing impaired people from taking vitamin A.
    Vitamin A, 10,000 IU, 100% Natural, Nature's Way, 100 Softgels
    Plus
    Natural Beta-Carotene
    Or
    Carotenoid Complex (Betatene)
    15,000 IU daily.

    As directed on label.
    Antioxidants and precursors to Vitamin A.
    Beta Carotene (Natural Dunaliella Salina), Nature's Way, 100% Natural, 25,000 IU, 100 Softgels,
    Multi-Carotene Antioxidant, Nature's Way, 60 Softgels
    Vitamin B Complex 50 mg of each B vitamin daily, with meals 3 times daily (amounts of individual vitamins in a complex will vary). Vitamin B Complex injections, as prescribed by a health care provider. Essential for healing. Reduces ear pressure. Injections (under a health care provider's supervision) are best. If injections are not available, use a sublingual form.
    Ultimate B (Vitamin B Complex), Nature's Secret, 60 Tabs,
    Vitamin B-100 Complex, w/ Coenzyme B-2, Nature's Way, 631 mg, 100 Caps
    Plus Extra
    Folic Acid
    400 mcg daily. Often depleted in people with hearing loss.
    Vitamin B-9 (Folic Acid), 100% Natural, Nature's Way, 800 mcg, 100 Caps
    And
    Vitamin B-12
    1,000-2,000 mcg daily. To prevent anemia. Use a lozenge or sublingual form.
    Vitamin B-12 Complex Liquid, NOW Foods, 2 fl. oz.,
    Vitamin B-12, Nature's Way, 2000 mcg, 100 Sublingual Lozenges,
    Vitamin B-12 Liquid Supplement, 50 mcg, With Vitamin B-9 (Folic Acid), 400 mcg, 1 oz.
    Vitamin B-12, California Natural, 1000 mcg, 60 Tabs,
    Vitamin B-12 LipoSpray, NOW Foods, 2 fl. oz.
    Vitamin C With Bioflavonoids 3,000-6,000 mg daily, in divided doses. Needed for proper immune function and to aid in preventing ear infections.
    Vitamin C Liquid w/ Rose Hips & Bioflavonoids, Kosher, Natural Citrus Flavor, Dynamic Health, 1000 mg, 16 fl. oz.,
    Ester C With Bioflavonoids, Nature's Way, 1000 mg, 90 Tabs,
    Vitamin C 1000 With Bioflavonoids, Nature's Way, 100% Natural, 1000 mg, 250 VCaps,
    The Right C, Nature's Way, 1000 mg, 120 Tabs
    Plus
    N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC)
    As directed on label, on an empty stomach. Take with water or juice. Do not take with milk. Take with 50 mg vitamin B-6 and 100 mg of vitamin C for better absorption. To remove excess fluids from the ear canal. See Amino Acids for more information.
    NAC (N-Acetyl-Cysteine), NOW Foods, Selenium, Molybdenum, 600 mg, 100 Caps
    Vitamin D-3 400 IU daily. Enhances immunity.
    Vitamin D, NOW Foods, 2000 IU, 120 SoftGels,
    Vitamin D, NOW Foods, 1000 IU, 180 SoftGels,
    Dry Vitamin D, Nature's Way, 100% Natural, 400 IU, 100 Caps
    Vitamin E 600 IU daily. A powerful antioxidant that improves and increases circulation. Use d-alpha-tocopherol emulsion form for easier assimilation and greater safety at higher doses.
    Ester E Natural Vitamin E, California Natural, 400 IU, 60 Softgels,
    Vitamin E, 400 IU, 100% Natural, NOW Foods, 100 Gels,
    Vitamin E-1000, NOW Foods, 1000 IU, 100 Gels,
    Vitamin E, d-alpha-tocopherol, 400 IU, 100 Softgels
    Zinc 50 mg daily. Do not exceed a total of 100 mg daily from all supplements. Quickens immune response. Aids in reducing infection.
    Zinc Ionic Mineral Supplement, Fully Absorbable, 100 +/- ppm, 16 fl. oz.,
    Zinc Lozenges W/ Echinacea & Vitamin C, Nature's Way, 23 mg, 60 Lozenges,
    Zinc (Chelated), 100% Natural, Nature's Way, 30 mg, 100 Caps





    HEARING LOSS & EAR CARE SUPPLEMENTS & PRODUCTS

    Supplements and products for hearing loss, a condition that results in a loss of hearing. Hearing loss can be a result of aging, infection, disease, trauma, or even wax buildup. Included are products for ear care and ear infection remedies.

    AHCC (Active Hexose Correlated Compound), NOW Foods, Vegetarian, 500 mg, 60 VCaps

    NOW Foods AHCC is a rich source of polysaccharides such as beta glucan 1,3 and activated hemicellulose produced by enzymatic modification of organic medicinal mushrooms, including shiitake.
    Antibiotic, Natural, Support Tincture, 100% Organic, 2 fl. oz.

    Use this natural antibiotic to support the immune system.
    Bio Defender, Antibacterial, Antiviral, and Antifungal Formula, Balanceuticals, 56 Caps

    This unique antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal formula is a clinical nutritionist response to bio terrorism such as anthrax.
    Colloidal Silver Liquid, SilvaSolution, 10 ppm, 16 fl. oz.

    Colloidal Silver is a potent yet non-toxic natural food supplement that has shown to support the immune system during the cold and flu season.
    Colloidal Silver, Liquid Silver Homeopathic Formula, SilvaSolution Advanced Immune System Activator for Colds and Flu, 8 fl. oz.

    TriMedica SilvaSolution Advanced Liquid Silver Homeopathic Formula integrates the basic principles of homeopathy and is a profound healing system designed to increase the body's ability to respond to immune challenges and restore optimal health.
    Colloidal Silver Pump Spray, SilvaSolution, 2 fl. oz.

    Colloidal Silver Spray works great to promote throat health, as well as provide immune system support.
    Earache Relief Earache Drops, Homeopathic For Children, 5 Single Use Droppers

    Gentle enough for children but strong enough for adults, Earache Relief Earache Drops may be used alone or in conjunction with other OTC pain relievers or prescription antibiotics.
    Earache Relief Ear Drops, Homeopathic, 0.33 fl. oz.

    This pharmacist-recommended Active Response Formula promptly stimulates the body's natural ability to relieve ear pain.
    Ear Candling, By Anne Tatum

    Learn all about ears with this complete guide to ear candling. Anne Tatum, the author of this book, is one of the pioneers of performing ear candling treatments as a business.
    Ear Candling Deluxe Kit

    Contains everything included in the Starter Kit plus additional supplies and accessories for a more complete and effective ear candling experience.
    Ear Candling Mini Pack

    All the basics needed for an ear candling session.
    Ear Candling Pillow

    Ear Pillows can be treated for a more relaxing candling experience. They are shaped perfectly for an ear candling session.
    Ear Candle Snuffer, Large

    Helps to snuff the candle at the end of your session.
    Ear Candle Snuffer, Small

    Helps to snuff the candle at the end of your session.
    Ear Candling Starter Kit

    Contains all the basic supplies you need for several ear candling sessions.
    Ear Candles (Ear Candling Cones), 2 Cones Per Pack, Premium Quality, All Natural Earwax Removal, Pure Bees Wax Cones

    Ear candles, are used as a safe and effective way to eliminate excess earwax and to sooth the inner ear.

    For a full range of available Ear Candling Products, see: Ear Candling Products / Ear Candles
    Ear Clear Oil, 100% Organic, 2 fl. oz.

    Adults and children may use this Ear Oil for ear aches, infections and for ear wax buildup.
    Ear Oil, All Natural Herbal Ear Drops, White Egret, 2 fl. oz.

    Can be used in the ear canal to soothe the ear and prevent infection. Also used to soften ear wax.
    Ear Oil Relief, NOW Foods, 1 oz.

    Ear Oil Relief is a natural herbal formula that makes it easy to cleanse and comfort the delicate tissues of the ear canal.
    Ear Soothies For Ear Candling, 1 Pair

    Slips on ears to help with ear discomfort.
    Ear Soothe Wellness Oil, 2 fl. oz.

    This oil is formulated to address swimmer's ear, earaches, ear infections, and ringing in the ear.
    Ear wax Relief Ear Drops, Homeopathic, 0.33 fl. oz.

    Removes wax, cleans ear, reduces chronic ear wax congestion.
    Echinacea Angustifolia Root Powder, 4 oz. Bulk

    Echinacea is an excellent herb for all kinds of viral & bacterial infections, strengthens the immune system against pathogenic infection by stimulating phagocytosis & T-Cell formation, blood cleansing properties, acne, bronchitis, colds & flu, congestion, psoriasis, tonsillitis, wounds, ear infections and stimulates the immune system.
    Echinacea Herb, Nature's Way, 400 mg, 180 Caps

    Echinacea herb supports the immune system and promotes general well-being in cold and flu season.
    Echinacea Root Tincture, 100% Organic, 2 fl. oz.

    Echinacea Root is also known as Purple Coneflower and considered very valuable by North American Indians.
    Echinacea Tincture For Children, Orange Flavor, Alcohol Free, 100% Organic, 1 fl. oz.

    ChildLife's great tasting Echinacea can provide extra support at the first sign of colds, flues, sore throats, upper respiratory symptoms, sinusitis, and ear infections. Periodic use, especially during the winter months, may increase the overall strength of your child's natural defense system.
    Enzyme Phytonutrient (EPN) Ionic Supplement, Fully Absorbable, 16 fl. oz.

    WaterOz Ionic EPN is a pure liquid enzyme supplement. EPN complex is a patent-pending enzyme phytonutrient from a plant source that provides enzyme and saccharides necessary for optimal cellular communication. No combination of vitamins, minerals, amino acids or herbals can replace the necessary saccharides found in EPN.
    First Defense Homeopathic Formula For Children, 4 fl. oz.

    A complete and effective natural broad spectrum anti-infective formula available for infants and children. Completely safe and non-toxic for infants and children of all ages. A homeopathic Formula.
    Flame Retardant Cloth For Ear Candling, 2 each

    Contains 2 cloths (one 18 inch by 18 inch & one 18 inch by 36 inch) to help protect hair and pillow during the session.
    Garlic Oil Tincture, Alcohol Free, Nature's Way, 1 fl. oz.

    Garlic oil is often used to soothe the ear and as an antibiotic but most often used as a food and herb and also to lower serum cholesterol and blood pressure and to improve circulation as well as possibly inhibiting the growth of ulcer causing bacteria.
    Gentle Digest, Natural Probiotic For Pets, 60 Caps

    Gentle Digest® provides human grade lactobacillus sporogenes (Lactospore®) which produce L+ form of lactic acid that promote growth of friendly bacteria to pet's digestive tract.
    Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) Liquid Concentrate, 1 Gallon

    Grapefruit Seed Extract may be used topically as an antiseptic wound cleaner and to treat infections of the skin. Internally, the concentrate is useful as a supportive treatment for a wide variety of ailments.
    Grapefruit Seed Extract Liquid Concentrate, 2 fl oz.

    Used Grapefruit Seed Extract topically as an antiseptic wound cleaner and to treat infections of the skin.
    Grapefruit Seed Extract Liquid Concentrate, 4 fl oz.

    Grapefruit Seed Extract may be used topically as an antiseptic wound cleaner and to treat infections of the skin. Internally, the concentrate is useful as a supportive treatment for a wide variety of ailments.
    Hear Ye, Hearing Supplement, 60 Caps

    Hear Ye, Hearing Supplement supports optimal hearing function.
    Hyland's Earache Homeopathic Formula For Children, 40 Tabs

    The medicines in Hyland's Earache Tablets have been clinically shown to reduce earache symptoms during the first 48 hours of the episode.
    Hyssop Throat Comforts, Natural Herb Comforts, 61 Lozenges

    Throat Soothers with natural Hyssop can be used to comfort the throat while undergoing ear candling treatments.
    Instructional 30 Minute Ear Candling Video

    Includes a complete candling demonstration and answers many questions that arise while candling.
    Instructional 2 Hour Ear Candling Video

    This training video is a more in-depth and comprehensive look at ear candling procedures and theory and includes a complete demonstration of ear candling.
    Manganese Ionic Mineral Supplement, Fully Absorbable, 30 +/- ppm, 16 fl. oz.

    WaterOz Ionic Manganese is a pure liquid Manganese supplement. Manganese, also called the "brain mineral," is important in the utilization of all mental facilities/functions.
    Nature's Antiseptics Tea Tree Oil & Grapefruit Seed Extract, CJ Puotinen, Paperback

    Nature's Warfare, this book covers tea tree oil and grapefruit see extract use in safely destroying viruses, bacteria, molds, yeasts and parasites that want to live in us and on us.
    Nutribiotic Ear Drops, With Grapefruit Seed Extract, 3 fl. oz.

    NutriBiotic Ear Drops are an excellent topical treatment for ear aches, swimmer's ear and over-production of wax.
    Olive Leaf Extract Tincture, 100% Organic, 2 fl. oz.

    Olive Leaf extract is used internally, as a laxative and disperser of acids, and is often used in enemas. Olive Leaf extract is also used in a poultice, Olive Leaf relieves pruritis and the effects of stings or burns.
    Otoscope, Illuminating Ear Scope With 3 Tips

    The illuminating Otoscope is the finest, most affordable otoscope available. It is used to view the inside of the ear canal.
    Plate Guard For Ear Candling

    A protective aid to shield ear candle user from any flame or debris caused during the ear candling session.
    Scissors, Folding For Ear Candling

    Small, Folding Scissors to use for cutting a hole in the plate guard.
    Silver Biotics Liquid, Silver Supplement, 8 fl. oz.

    Silver Biotics was tested by researchers and was found to kill every strain of bacteria that it was tested against and that these bacteria, many of which have become resistant to antibiotics, cause many human ailments.
    Travel or Home First Aid Kit

    The Travel or Home First Aid Kit has all the internal and topical products from Nutribiotic you will need for your travel or home first aid needs.
    Vertigo Support Wellness Oil, Nature's Inventory, 2 fl. oz.

    The essential oils in this blend can help to dramatically reduce the effects of Vertigo just by smelling these oils. Apply this oil to any area of your skin where you can smell it, sit down and relax and allow the oils to work with your body's system.
    Vitamin B-12 Complex Liquid, NOW Foods, 2 fl. oz.

    Vitamin B-12 Helps to maintain a healthy nervous system, and helps in the prevention of pernicious anemia. Folic Acid should be taken by all females of child bearing age to help prevent neuro-tube birth defects. Folic acid is also linked to heart health.
    Vitamin C 1000 With Bioflavonoids, Nature's Way, 100% Natural, 1000 mg, 250 VCaps

    Nature's Way Vitamin C With Bioflavonoids provides antioxidant provides antioxidant protection for many of the body's important enzyme systems.
    Vitamin C Liquid For Baby & Children, 4 fl. oz.

    Vitamin C is known as a principal anti-oxidant, the need for which is greatly increased in infants and children due to today's elevated environmental stresses and pollution.
    Xylitol Plus Natural Sugar Substitute, NOW Foods, 20 Packets, 4.4 oz.

    Xylitol Plus Natural Sugar Substitute is derived from fruit, such as strawberries, pears and plums, or trees, specifically birchwood.
    Zinc Lozenges With Echinacea & Vitamin C, Nature's Way, 23 mg, 60 Lozenges

    Nature's Way Zinc lozenge boosts cold season defense with zinc, widely recognized as an important nutritional support during the cold season, and echinacea pupurea, clinically shown to support the immune system, and Vitamin C, a vitally important vitamin for general health maintenance.


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    NOTIFY YOUR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER IF...

  • You suspect you or a family member has a hearing loss and needs to be tested. If you or a family member experience ear pain, bleeding from the ear, or other serious signs of infection or trauma, get medical assistance immediately.





  • HELPFUL RELATED LINKS

    Song Bird Disposable Hearing Aid

    Nature Ear Hearing Aids

    AAFP.org: Differential Diagnosis & Treatment of Hearing Loss

    MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Ear Infection

    MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Meniere's Disease

    MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Allergies

    MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Mumps

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