The most common (and scientifically proven) solutions to treating hearing loss are hearing aids and cochlear implants. However, people throughout history have tried to find alternative methods to ‘cure’ their hearing loss. From scientific research to crazy hacks, humans really go above and beyond to create unconventional solutions!
Here are some interesting ‘cures’ we’ve uncovered:
First… let’s look back at history…
Hearing loss has been an issue for centuries, and doctors have tried various remedies throughout time. Although they had good intentions, their tactics are known for being flawed and ineffective.
When Beethoven was a twenty-something, he experienced what we now know as tinnitus (buzzing or ringing in the ears) among other hearing deficiencies. Today, tinnitus can be managed with hearing aids, an option unfortunately not available to Beethoven. He sought out many doctors in Europe, and a few of their solutions were a bit bizarre to say the least!
For example, he was prescribed things such as almond oil earplugs and galvanism (a method of passing an electrical current through the afflicted part of the body in order to stimulate it). Another doctor suggested isolation, claiming that he needed to “rest his ears”. Obviously it didn’t work, and Beethoven went back to creating incredible music, that we still hear today.
In the 19th century, people would sometimes use odd tools designed to stimulate the ear’s nerves. For example, many tried a large contraption that vibrated the inner ear. In addition to looking weird, it didn’t work.
Blistering was also a common remedy for hearing loss. Basically, people were given blisters through caustic plaster and the pus was thought of as evidence of toxins being extracted from the body. Supposedly this promoted healthy ears.
Lastly, artificial eardrums were another notorious ‘solution’ in the late 1800’s. The idea was that these tiny devices would help sound resonate through the auditory canal. However, they were ineffective and very painful when inserted into the ear. Some were even made out of metal.
As crazy as those solutions sound, in the 21st century, people are still coming up with bizarre and ineffective methods to treat hearing loss.
Today’s weird and wacky hearing loss solutions:
One man, David Quigley, claims he ‘cured’ his hearing loss through hypnosis. His healer put her ‘delicate spirit fingers’ into his ears and within weeks, he was hearing perfectly again.
Hearing loss pill
The Hearing Loss Pill claims your hearing loss will be cured in 60 days (or your money back). This sounds like a promise, but read the disclaimer:
“The truth is that most people never do anything with the products they buy, so most of the time, they don’t get ANY results. To put it bluntly, if you want results you need to take the supplement as directed. The testimonials you see on this website are some of our better results and are not typical.”
Personal sound amplification devices
Another quick fix people with hearing loss sometimes turn to are Personal Sound Amplification Devices (PSAPS). While these look an awful lot like hearing aids, the technology inside is totally different.
Hearing aids are complicated pieces of technology that allow you to hear clearly and more naturally in busy environments. PSAPs tend to amplify noise, and don’t provide high-quality sound.
Not only will a PSAP produce very different results than a hearing aid, you will also miss out on the expert care that hearing healthcare professionals provide.
Cheese… (No, we’re not kidding)
Studies have recently suggested that D-methionine, a chemical compound found in many cheeses, is a way to reverse hearing loss from exposure to high decibel levels. It’s been tested on over 500 US soldiers after they were in contact with loud noises. However, you have to eat around five pounds of cheese for it to work!
While these wacky, unconventional, and bizarre hearing loss solutions may be very interesting (and laughable), the best solution you have is to see a skilled professional. So put down the giant block of cheese and make an appointment with a hearing healthcare provider instead!