Ayurvedic treatment for Hearing loss

Hearing loss

Know More on ENT(Ear Nose Throat)

  • Definition
  • Causes
  • Symptoms
  • Diagnosis
  • Management
  • FAQS
  • References

Definition

Hearing loss Ayurvedic treatment

WHAT IS HEARING LOSS?

Hearing loss is the partial or complete inability to hear sound in one or both the ears.1

An aspect of vata known as prana vata governs the aspect of hearing. The prana vata tends to get weakened in older people leading to what is known as conductive or nerve deafness. Weakening of the nerves leads to hearing loss in these people.2

Causes

Hearing loss

HEARING LOSS CAUSES

A mechanical problem in the outer or middle ear causes conductive hearing loss (CHL). Causes of conductive hearing loss include:3

  • Accumulation of wax in the ear canal
  • Damage to the small bones that are present right behind the eardrum
  • Fluid that accumulates in the ear after an ear infection
  • Damage to the ear canal caused by the insertion of a foreign object
  • Hole in the eardrum
  • Recurrent infections in the ear that causes the formation of scar.

Death or injury of the tiny hair cells (nerve endings) that detect sound in the ear causes Sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL). This type of hearing loss often cannot be reversed. The common causes of sensorineural hearing loss are:3

  • Acoustic neuroma – noncancerous growth on cranial nerve
  • Hearing loss due to advancing age
  • Childhood infections, such as meningitis, mumps, scarlet fever, and measles
  • Ménière's disease – disease of the inner ear
  • Regular exposure to loud noises
  • Use of certain medicines

Symptoms

Hearing loss

HEARING LOSS SYMPTOMS

Symptoms associated with hearing loss may include:3

  • Very loud perception of certain sounds
  • Difficulty following normal conversations between two or more people
  • Difficulty hearing in noisy areas
  • Trouble distinguishing high-pitched sounds from one another
  • More trouble hearing women's voices than men’s voices
  • Difficulty in hearing in presence of background noise
  • Hearing voices as mumbled or slurred

Other symptoms include:3

  • Feeling of dizziness or imbalance (more common with Ménière's disease and acoustic neuroma)
  • Feeling of pressure in the ear (due to the accumulated fluid behind the eardrum)
  • Ringing or buzzing sound in the ears (tinnitus)

Diagnosis

Hearing loss

HEARING LOSS DIAGNOSIS

Your doctor will carry out a physical exam to rule out all the possible causes for hearing loss such as earwax or inflammation from an infection. The doctor will also determine if there are any structural causes of hearing loss, and may ask for the following tests.4

  • General screening tests that cover one ear at a time to see how well you hear words spoken at various volumes and how you respond to other sounds
  • Tuning fork tests: Your doctor can detect whether you have hearing loss and if yes, in which regions, with simple tests using tuning forks (two-pronged, metal instruments that produce sounds when struck)
  • Audiometer tests

 

Management

Hearing loss

HEARING LOSS AYURVEDIC TREATMENT

Ayurveda has a holistic approach in treating different conditions that include a combination of ahar (diet) and vihar (lifestyle regime) recommendations for effective management. These include:

Diet Recommendations (Aahar)

  • Since ear problems are associated with an imbalance in the kapha dosha, a diet that does not vitiate the kapha dosha, should be followed. The following dietary guidelines must be followed: -
    • Avoid sour foods as they impair the kapha dosha. These include sour fruits and curds.
    • Fruits like bananas, watermelons, oranges, papayas and cucumbers must be avoided since the increase the risk common cold. This would aggravate the ear problem. All refrigerated foods must also be avoided for the same reason
    • Onion, ginger and garlic should be preferred during ear problems
    • Turmeric is also very good remedy for infections, and must be used for spicing the meals.
    • Follow a kapha soothing diet in general
  • Stress on breastfeeding for infants
  • Avoid processed and oily food

Lifestyle changes (Vihar)

  • Keep the ears warm
  • Avoid hearing to loud music, loud noises, and headphones. For example, while travelling in a vehicle, keep the windows closed
  • Protect your ears wear hearing protection or some cloth band covering ears when you are surrounded by loud noise
  • Increase the intake of Vitamin C and zinc. Vitamin C helps in combating infection by boosting the immunity. Zinc reduces ear infection
  • Avoid smoking as well as exposure to second hand smoke, since smoke can block Eustachian tubes in the ears
  • Maintain a good hygiene, avoid colds. Wash your hands regularly. Avoid touching eyes and nose.
  • Useful Herbs for the Treatment of Ear Infections. These include Bael, holy basil, and neem. The preparations of these herbs can be used to combat ear infections.
  • The procedure of neti, i.e., rinsing of the nasal passages with a mild, salt water solution, which effectively removes accumulated kapha or phlegm can also help relieve ear infection.

FAQS

Hearing loss
  1. What is allergic rhinitis?

Allergic rhinitis is inflammation of the lining of the nose in response to an immune response given by body when it comes in contact with certain allergens (things causing allergy in a person). It simply means that immune system is overreacting to certain allergy causing substances such as pollen, dust mites, skin and saliva of furry animals such as cats, dogs, etc. Around 10 to 30 percent of population in the world may suffer from this condition. Allergic disorders in Ayurveda are widely elaborated under the concepts of Ama, Asatmya ahara vihar, Anurjta and viruddha aahara. Impaired digestion and metabolism causes Ama. It leads to the manifestation of Rhinitis or Pratishyaya by affecting Rasa and Rakta Dhatu.

  1. What causes allergic rhinitis?

Allergic rhinitis happens when your body releases histamine after coming in contact with an allergen. Histamine is a natural chemical that guards your body from the allergen. This chemical is responsible for the symptoms associated with allergic rhinitis, including a runny nose, sneezing, and itchy eyes.

Other common causes in addition to pollen, include

  • Grass
  • Dust
  • Animal skin
  • Mites
  • Moulds

Some external factors that can trigger or aggravate this condition, include:

  • Dampness
  • Cold temperature
  • air pollution
  • chemicals in Hairspray/perfumes/colognes
  • Wood smoke
  • Fumes
  • Smoking
  1. What diet changes I can do to avoid ear infection in my child?

Here are few diet tips to avoid ear infection in your child:

Since ear problems are associated with an imbalance in the kapha dosha, a diet that does not vitiate the kapha dosha, should be followed. The following dietary guidelines must be followed: -

  1. Sour foods must be avoided as it impairs the kapha dosha. These include sour fruits and curds.
  2. Fruits like bananas, watermelons, oranges, papayas and cucumbers must be avoided since the increase the risk common cold. This would aggravate the ear problem. All refrigerated foods must also be avoided for the same reason.
  3. Onion, ginger and garlic should be preferred during ear problems.
  4. Turmeric is also very good remedy for infections, and must be used for spicing the meals
  5. Avoid processed and oily food
  6. Avoid water getting into ear during bath.
  1. What are the causes of nosebleeds?

Nose bleeds can be caused by a number of things, including:

  • Scratching the inside of your nose with a sharp fingernail
  • Forcefully blowing your nose
  • blow to your head, or a fall
  • A minor injury to your nose
  • Presence of cold or flu which causes a blocked or stuffy nose
  • Sinusitis
  • Very dry environment or places that have hot, dry weather
  • Hay fever or other allergies
  • High altitude
  • Abuse of nasal decongestants
  • A crooked nose that's either present from birth or the result of an injury.
  • broken nose
  • Recent nasal surgery
  • Hardened arteries (atherosclerosis)
  • Medicines that cause you to bleed more easily, including aspirin
  1. What can I do to manage or avoid nosebleed?

Here are some tips to manage/avoid nosebleed:

  • Avoid mental pressure and stress.
  • Sound sleep for 7-8 hours is highly recommended.
  • Cold water is one of the best ways to stop nasal bleeding
  • Instillation of lemon juice should be dropped into nostrils provides excellent relief
  • Juice of fresh coriander leaves can be used as nasal drops
  • A cotton bud dipped in rosewater and kept inside the nostrils stops the bleeding
  • Tulsi juice mixed with honey will also help and provide extra strength to the body
  1. My husband snores a lot. What could be the reasons?

Snoring may be caused by a combination of factors which are as follows:

  • Sleeping on the back
  • Being overweight/obese
  • Congestion of the upper respiratory tract
  • Heavy consumption of alcohol in the evening prior to sleep
  • Use of sleeping pills and tranquilizers
  • Inadequate sleep
  • stress
  • Saggy and extra soft mattress
  • A pillow that is too low/high
  • History of smoking
  1. How is snoring treated in Ayurveda?

Ayurveda classifies sleep disorders as Kapha dominant disorders since they are highly associated with obesity as a main symptom, however, Vata and Pitta could have an impact on this disorder. Kapha dosha first accumulates, and aggravates in the digestive system, it then over-flows into the circulatory system, subsequently relocating into the Medas (Medovaha srota), then manifest and diversifies.2  Lekhana and Medohara (fat scraping/ reducing) ahara and vihar and Shodhana therapies may be beneficial.

Ayurveda has a holistic approach in treating different conditions that include a combination of ahar (diet) and vihar (lifestyle regime) recommendations for effective management.

  1. What are few tips to reduce snoring?

Here are few tips to reduce snoring:

  • Maintain a proper diet and exercise well to lose weight
  • Avoid alcohol consumption since it can increase sleep apnea
  • Prefer sleeping on the side (especially the left side as this promotes better digestion)
  • Avoid smoking
  • Ensure that you always get sufficient and a sound sleep
  • Sleep on a firm mattress
  • Use a pillow of an appropriate size and firmness
  • If possible, elevate the head end of the bed if possible
  • Use of nasal spray to relieves nasal congestion
  • Inhale steam with eucalyptus oil
  1. My child frequently gets chest infection, what diet can I give to improve his condition?

Following are the diet tips to improve/better manage chest infection:

  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet as it can help strengthen the immune system, makes you less susceptible to developing chest infections
  • Avoid milk products and other mucous forming foods like ice-cream, cold water, sugar salt refined flour, bread and fruit juices
  • Prefer hot food and drinks since they help in soothing the discomfort associated with cough
  • Preparations containing long pepper and dry ginger are helpful in treating cough
  • Ghee can be used to soothe the throat
  • Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated
  • Prepare a solution of a glass of hot water, half a lemon’s juice squeezed in it and a teaspoon of honey. Drink this mixture sip by sip
  • Avoid excessive consumption of tea, caffeinated and carbonated drinks 
  1. My child has crying spell and pulls his ear sometimes. Is he having ear pain?

The symptoms of ear pain in infants include:

  • Fever and irritability in babies
  • Pulling tugging or rubbing of ears in children
  • Babies do not feed well; loss of appetite in children
  • Sleep problems and restlessness at night
  • Coughing and runny nose

 

References

Hearing loss
  1. What causes hearing impairment? Available at: http://www.healthline.com/symptom/hearing-impairment. Accessed on: 28 Sep. 16
  2. Lad V. The complete book of Ayurvedic home remedies. Harmony; 1999.
  3. Hearing loss. Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003044.htm. Accessed on: 22 Sep. 16
  4. Hearing loss. Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hearing-loss/basics/tests-diagnosis/con-20027684?p=1. Accessed on: 28 Sep. 16
  5. Ayurvedic Treatment for Ear infection. Available at: http://www.ayurvedatreatments.co.in/ayurvedatreatments/index.php/ayurvedic-treatments/324-ayurvedic-treatment-for-ear-infection. Accessed on: 21 Sep. 16.
  6. Tinnitus Causes, Ayurvedic Treatment, Herbs, Lifestyle Tips. Available at: http://easyayurveda.com/2015/02/24/tinnitus-causes-ayurvedic-treatment-tips/. Accessed on: 21 September 2016

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