When it comes to hearing loss, we have many options for treatment in today’s modern world. Some will swear by the essential oils on the market and claim there is a natural cure for any ailment. Essential oils, as they relate to the treatment of hearing loss, may be helpful but in an extremely limited number of cases.
My audiology practice in Galveston is four doors down from Peak Nutrition, a homeopathic store from which I purchase essential oils, vitamins, etc. I recently asked Beth, the manager, about ways to treat hearing loss and problems of the ears using essential oils, and she was of great help to me. The topic of hearing loss and essential oils was absolutely never covered while I earned my degrees at West Virginia University, so I was pleased to receive the help of my business neighbor.
Essential oils are a non-medical, natural treatment available from health stores and are used for topical application for many ailments. When we say “essential” we don’t necessarily mean “indispensable”. This simply means the oil has the fragrance or the “essence” of the plant from which it is extracted.
Essential oils have a history that originates in the Dordogne region of France. The healing properties of medicinal plants are suggested in cave paintings from 18,000 BC in that region. Egyptians used aromatic oils as early as 4500 BC. They often used balsams, perfumed oils, scented barks, resins, spices, and aromatic vinegars for medicinal purposes. Oils and pastes from plants were transformed into pills, powders, suppositories, cakes, and ointments.
The Yellow Emperor’s Book of Internal Medicine was written by Huang Ti circa 2597 BC. It includes uses for several aromatics and is still used by practitioners of eastern medicine today. Hypocrites, the Greek physician, wrote in 460 BC, “A perfumed bath and a scented massage everyday is the way to good health.” I am so on board with that!
Helichrysum essential oil is a popular choice for many people with hearing problems. It can be combined with a carrier oil such as jojoba, sweet almond, or avocado and then applied directly to the skin or added to baths. For treatment of inflammatory disorders and chronic ear infections only, experts recommend rubbing a small amount behind the ear and down near the jaw line. It is suggested that this is to be performed no more than twice a day. Retail cost of Helichrysum is approximately $111.84 for a 5ml bottle. (The above information is from Space Age International, San Juan, CA.)
However, it is my opinion that true Otitis Media, ear infection, is more effectively treated with antibiotics, especially in children. Time is of the essence when treating this type of hearing loss in children who are acquiring both expressive and receptive speech communication skills. The longer the delay in resolving hearing loss, the greater the chance that speech language pathology services will be needed down the road.