Diseases of the Ear.
Inflammation of the External Ear.
INFLAMMATION and swelling of the visible portion of the ear is not infrequent, and is usually due to injury from an ear pick or other instrument, to lack of cleanliness coupled with some abrasion of the skin; unsanitary surroundings; use of lotions containing harmful ingredients. Inflammation may be superficial, or affect the deeper tissues causing severe pain and swelling, and even little boils.
Aconite. Two to five drop doses every hour in the beginning of sudden, severe inflammation, with fever, restlessness, great pain locally, and burning headache, flushed face, constant thirst, or, a little later, when the temperature rises, the pulse grows rapid, and pulsation is felt in the ear, give Ferrum phos. a dose every hour.
Belladonna. Throbbing headache; tearing pains in the ear; much congestion of head and face; mouth dry and hot and throat bright red; alternate chill and heat. A dose every hour.
Hepar Sulph. Unhealthy condition of the skin; sticking pain in the ear which is sensitive to touch; itching of the entrance to the ear; suppuration, with thin, bad smelling pus. Give as above.
Picric Acid. Recurring boils of the external ear in debilitated cases; also acute or chronic localized inflammation and tenderness, with debility. Give as above; in chronic cases, three times a day.
Calcarea Carb. A valuable remedy in these cases in persons of a scrofulous constitution. The skin of the ear is thickened and red, and the entrance filled with cheesy pus; or there is ulceration, and the formation of exuberant granulations. A dose three times a day.
In the beginning of the inflammation apply ice compresses, or paint the surface with tincture of Iodine. If a boil develops and pus forms, it must be evacuated; cleanse with a saturated solution of Boracic acid in alcohol, and continue the cold applications. Treatment with the borax and alcohol should be repeated two or three times a week until recovery is complete. The patient should rest, eat unstimulating food, and avoid the use of alcohol in any form.
Eczema of the External Ear.
ECZEMA may be due to local cause such as insect bites, the wearing of earrings, irritating dust as among metalworkers, parasites from the scalp, also to diseases of the stomach, kidneys, intestines or uterus, and to rheumatism and gout. Remove the cause.
The usual itching and sense of heat marking the beginning of eczema is often attended by fever in children. Small reddish pimples first appear, and these become watery or pustular. When they burst, crusts form. The acute form lasts from four to six weeks; if the original cause persists, eczema of the moist variety ensues.
Arsenicum. Dry, scaly, bran like eruption, with itching and burning, worse from scratching and at night; better in warm air.
Graphite’s. Eruption with moist, sticky oozing, and the whole skin of the ear looks unhealthy. Rawness and soreness, especially behind the ears. The patient feels better in the open air.
Mezereum. Red, moist eruption covered with thick, hard crust; with intense itching extending even into the ear passage; worse at night and from scratching.
Rhus. Tox. Swelling, burning, itching and tingling of the skin, with watery vesicles around which the skin is red and angry looking; itching better from scratching.
Kali Mur. Dry, scurfy eruption; obstinate cases in children, with indigestion, constipation, and sores at the corners of the mouth.
A simple dusting powder of starch, oxide of zinc, lycopodium or rice is the best dressing for acute dry eczema; for the moist eruption apply oxide of zinc ointment, or one per cent. ichhyol ointment. Crusts should first be removed by softening them with olive oil or vaseline. As emphasized in the beginning, the removal of the cause of the affection is of great importance, also regulation of diet, and attention to all hygienic rules.
THE, pressure of hardened wax or some foreign body may cause earache, or exposure to cold or wet, defective teeth, digestive disturbances, or the abuse of quinine. Earache may be a simple neuralgia or symptomatic of acute catarrhal inflammation of the middle ear. Douching the nose is not an infrequent cause of ear troubles.
Aconite. Recent inflammation from cold or cold winds; ear hot, very painful, and sensitive to touch. Ferrum phos. frequently gives even greater relief.
Belladonna. Severe, boring, or sudden shooting pains in the ears, darting from one ear to the other, with chilliness and great restlessness
Chamomilla .Stabbing, cutting, unbearable pains, especially in nervous children child very fretful and, if little, wants to be carried all the time.
Pulsatilla. Sharp, tearing, pulsating pains, worse at night, coming in paroxysms, increasing in severity; ringing in the ears and deafness; earache in highly sensitive persons, and in children of that type.
Magnesia Phos. Purely nervous earache, with pain back of the ear also ; worse in cold air, and from washing the face in cold water; better from hot application
Plantago. Tearing pains like neuralgia, especially when the teeth are affected.
A dose of the indicated remedy may be taken every fifteen minutes increasing the intervals as the pain subsides. A hot water bag, bag of hops or salt heated in the oven may alleviate pain, or heat in a teaspoon one part of tincture of aconite, one part of laudanum to two parts of sweet oil, and drop two or three drops into the ear, or apply on absorbent cotton. Mullein oil may be used the same way. Steam from a radiator valve or spout of a teakettle conducted through soft rubber tubing to the ear often proves very soothing. The core of a baked onion applied to the ear will often give relief.
Special attention should be paid to keeping the feet warm and dry, and to regulating the diet. Baths should always be followed by friction. Running of the Ears. Otorrhoea.
THIS is a symptom, not a disease in itself. It may follow acute catarrhal inflammation of the ear, or measles, scarlatina or diphtheria, and is most common in debilitated individuals, or those having a scrofulous constitution. There is seldom much pain.
Mercurius Viv - Thick, bloody or offensive discharge, with swelling and tenderness of the glands about the ear, especially when the discharge follows measles or scarlatina.
Calcarea Carb. Scrofulous individuals inclined to be fat; flesh is flabby; head sweats; white, thick, sticky discharge) tendency to the formation of little growths in the ear.
Silicea .Small amount of bad smelling, thin discharge, with ulceration of lining membrane of the ear or disease of the bones.
Hepar Sulph. Heat and discomfort in the ear which is very sensitive to touch; slight, sour and offensive discharge.
A dose of the indicated remedy three times a day. The ear should be gently syringed with warm water, a soft bulb syringe being preferable that the stream of water may not be forcibly ejected into the ear. After syringing instill peroxide of hydrogen, dry the ear gently but thoroughly with small bits of absorbent cotton, which may be 'loosely wound on a toothpick, then, with a powder blower blow in a little boracic acid powder.
Constitutional treatment is important; change of air; a liberal, nourishing, unstimulating diet, especially vegetables, milk, cream, cod liver oil. A good preparation of iron may be needed, and frequent sea salt baths with friction, also plenty of fresh air and sunshine.
Deafness Hardness of Hearing.
DEAFNESS may be due simply to constitutional debility; to sudden blows or loud noises; ulceration, perforation or rupture of the. ear drum (tympanum); accumulations of wax; inflammation of the lining mucous membrane, and suppuration; foreign bodies in the ear; hysteria; kidney or brain disease, paralysis of the nerve of hearing, etc.
Cinchona. Deafness with ringing, humming, roaring or ticking sounds in the ears; vertigo; after loss of blood, or blows, the firing of guns., or other concussion.
Ferrum Phos. After catching cold, in cold, windy weather, or during general debility with poor blood supply; ringing the ears; rush of blood to the head.
Chenopodium. Deafness to the sound of the voice, but passing of vehicles are heard; annoying buzzing in the ears; progressive deafness.
Nux Vom. Hardness of hearing, and buzzing, tingling, whistling noises in the ear, especially while eating, with indigestion.
Hydrobromic Acid. Deafness, with pulsating ringing in the ears, and great nervousness. This acts as a sedative, and may be prepared by adding thirty drops to three tablespoonfuls of cold water and adding a little sugar. Take two teaspoonfuls every hour.
Pulsatilla. Deafness following measles, also with darting, tearing or pulsating pain in the ear. If there is a discharge, it is thick, yellowish or yellowish green.
Causticum. Difficulty in hearing due to inability to identify the sounds; confusion of hearing; words or steps reecho in the ears.
Phosphoric Acid. Roaring in the ears with difficult hearing in nervous and debilitated individuals.
Also Magnesia phos. for deafness, or dullness of hearing from weakness of the auditory nerve. Mercurius viv. catarrhal deafness caused by a cold or chill, or occurring in syphilitics. Calcarea carb. Deafness in scrofulous persons with thickening of the lining membrane of tile ear, and enlarged tonsils. Sulphur after the abuse of mercury, or in hardness of hearing due to suppressed eruptions. Belladonna for deafness following scarlatina.
A dose of the indicated remedy may be given every four hours. The general health must be improved, and the cause of the local condition discovered and removed. Many cases require the skilled care of a specialist. Proper hygiene of the ears prevents many ear troubles. Never box a child's ears, never close healthy ears with cotton unless going into a machine shop or other noisy place or when the entire body is to be submerged as in sea bathing; never let water run into the ear while shampooing the hair or taking a bath; do not scratch the ear or introduce pins, hair pins, pencils, etc. The excessive use of alcohol and tobacco injures the nerves of the ear. Do not allow the teeth to become or remain decayed.
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