THE FOLLOWING ARE SYMPTOMS AND
CONDITIONS COMMONLY TREATED BY
THE WASHINGTON ACUPUNCTURE CENTER.
Nerve deafness is hearing deficiency resulting from damage to the auditory nervous
system from the nerve fibers at the base of the cochlear hair cells up to and including
the brain stem. This nerve damage may occur before birth or at any time during a
person's life. It may affect just one side or both sides.
Until the effectiveness of acupuncture was demonstrated in the United States, doctors
here thought that there was no effective treatment for nerve deafness. Hearing aids
can make sounds louder but not more meaningful. For this reason, many people with
nerve deafness don't use them. They amplify all sounds equally and may make the discrimination
of words more difficult as well as subjecting the wearer to loud, unpleasant noises
conducive to anxiety. By improving a person's ability to discriminate between different
sounds and words, acupuncture can enable him to use a hearing aid more effectively
even if the decibel level of sounds he hears does not improve.
Over 90 percent of people with some residual hearing treated by acupuncture for nerve
deafness show some improvement in discrimination. Over 70 percent show at least a
10-decibel improvement at four or more frequencies as well, on audiograms taken after
10 treatments. Half of the patients who do not show improvement after the first 10
treatments will show improvement in both discrimination and decibel level at some
frequencies by the 20th treatment. Once a person's hearing has started to improve
with acupuncture treatments, it will usually continue to improve until he has had
at least 40 treatments, unless it becomes normal sooner.
Most patients receiving acupuncture for nerve deafness have one treatment a day.
Some people between ages 12 and 50 are able to have two treatments a day. Others
only receive treatments once or twice a week. The patients who receive treatments
more frequently tend to get somewhat better results. Occasionally a patient will
experience a dramatic return to normal hearing after less than five treatments, some
even after the first treatment. Most people, however, require at least ten treatments
to show significant improvement and many more treatments to obtain optimal improvement.
The patients most likely to show rapid improvement in hearing with acupuncture treatments
in our experience are older people who have lost their hearing gradually. Some teenagers
hear much better after only a few treatments, but young children usually improve
more slowly, often requiring 40 or more treatments for optimal results. We have successfully
treated nerve deafness caused by many different factors, including pre-natal rubella,
RH incompatibility, meningitis, viral infections, loud noises and presbycusis.