Causes: Deafness may be caused by some obstruction in the outer ear but that is a condition which should not cause any worry, because the moment the obstruction is dealt with deafness is cured. Or, it may be caused by certain drugs like quinine. Here too, the cure is not difficult, because stoppage of quinine and the passage of a little time will automatically provide relief. The third cause of deafness is the noise to which people are subjected: soldiers in the field of battle may become temporarily deaf if they are in the vicinity of a battery of field guns; boiler makers may become deaf because they are constantly subjected to a loud noise. Deafness produced by loud noise has a gradual onset and a change in working conditions (i.e. the person may stay away from professions where he is subjected to loud noises) will gradually improve his hearing. But the most serious case of deafness is the one caused by the perforation of the ear drum because of suppuration or inflammation in that part.
The most serious-and incurable-deafness is the one with which a person is born. If he has inherited it from his parents or there is a malformation of the bone of the ear or imperfect development of the ear drum or its total absence, the deafness is congenital and cannot be cured. In such cases expert surgical help should be sought. Even then, there is not much hope of a cure, because of the delicacy of the structure.
Remedies: In ordinary cases of hardness of hearing (i.e. where deafness is partial), the following remedies will be of help:
The yellow leaf of a Swallow Wort (Akh) which has not been punctured should be warmed before a fire and the juice dropped into the ear. Two weeks of this treatment will help relieve deafness. Or, the lukewarm juice of Onion should be used as ear drops: it helps otorrhoea and ear ache also in addition to curing deafness.
A fresh Colocynth fruit should be cut into pieces, and boiled in 250 ml. of Sesame Oil till charred. Two drops of the cleaned oil introduced into the ear help in cases of deafness. Or, oil of Bitter Almonds should be used as ear drops.
Alternatively, five tolas of long Bitter Gourd (Karvi Tori) should be cut into small pieces and charred in 250 ml. of Mustard Oil. Two drops of the oil should help relieve deafness if used in the morning and evening for some days.