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World Deaf Day 2019: Acupuncture May Be Effective In Treating Hearing Loss

World Deaf Day is observed every year on last Sunday of the month of September. So, this year World Deaf Day 2019 is observed on 29 September. Drawing attention towards the achievements of the deaf people as well as deaf people community, the day aims to promote understanding among common people about the problems of deaf people.

On this World Deaf Day, let us examine the connection between acupuncture and hearing loss.


Acupuncture has been used as a pain remedy for years. The ancient Chinese practice involving needles has experienced a steady increase in popularity of the past forty years. It can help in treating and even curing arthritis, chronic pain, migraine, depression, insomnia, infertility digestion to anxiety. And hearing loss is also added to the list now.

Acupressure is one of the oldest healing techniques that comes without any side-effects. Also, the best part of it is, one can do it sitting right at their desk or any other place at home. The pressure points in your body are extra sensitive and can help stimulate relief in your body. Various studies have pointed out the positive impact touching pressure points can have on your health. It not only helps in providing pain relief but also helps improve your overall health and restore balance in the body [1] .


The Link Between Acupuncture And Hearing Loss

A study published in the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine asserted that acupuncture has been shown to improve hearing for individuals suffering from hearing loss. The study pointed out that acupuncture can aid individuals suffering from nerve-related deafness.

Nerve-related deafness or sensorineural deafness is caused due to damage in the auditory nerve. The study, spearheaded by Dr Jiang said that acupuncture was significantly more effective than medications and Er Long Zuo Ci Wan, a herbal formula that has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for the treatment of hearing disorders for centuries. Er Long Zuo Ci Wan's effectiveness was recently supported by a team of researchers, who gave the science-backed conclusion that it is effective for the treatment of hearing-related disorders [2] .

The study further compared the effectiveness of acupuncture with that of the conventional medical treatments such as cochlear implants, vasodilator medications, vitamin therapies, and steroids.

In another related study, the researchers pointed out that acupuncture combined with ginger moxibustion (the burning of moxa on or near a person's skin as a counterirritant) has proven to be beneficial for individuals with tinnitus. Researchers applied acupuncture and ginger moxibustion to 34 patients with intractable tinnitus and the therapeutic effective rate was 91.18 per cent [3] .

More Research Is Required

The head researcher pointed out that more extensive studies have to be conducted to understand the long and short-term effects of acupuncture on hearing loss. He also asserted that studies that measure the effects of acupuncture, Er Long Zuo Ci Wan, and acupuncture combined with Er Long Zuo Ci Wan over a period of several years are needed to determine the auditory effects in the long-term [4] .

Apart from this, the study also faced limitation due to the small sample sizes of the 12 trials.

On A Final Note...

In spite of the limitations, the study showed exceedingly positive results with a total of 22 patients fully recovered, 5 patients showing marked improvements and 4 patients with moderate improvements. Only 3 patients had no improvements.

The researchers also asserted that none of the study respondents experienced any worsening of symptoms or recurrence of symptoms.

View Article References  
  1. [1]   Jiang, Yuebo, Xian Shi, and Yan Tang. "Efficacy and safety of acupuncture therapy for nerve deafness: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials." Int J Clin Exp Med 8, no. 2 (2015): 2614-2620.
  2. [2]   QIU, Fang, Jie LIU, Song-jian KANG, Yong-zhi SHI, Xian-jun SHI, and Ying ZHANG. "The protective effects of modifier Erlongzuociwan on cochlear succinate dehydrogenase [J]." Chinese New Drugs Journal 11 (2004): 010.
  3. [3]   Wang, Y. M., H. Y. Song, Zhong Tong, S. J. Qian, R. X. Guo, Z. J. Jing, and J. R. Shi. "[Effects of er-long-zuo-ci-wan on the spontaneous activities of auditory central nucleus in rat model of tinnitus induced by salicylate acid]." Zhongguo ying yong sheng li xue za zhi= Zhongguo yingyong shenglixue zazhi= Chinese journal of applied physiology 25, no. 3 (2009): 397-401.
  4. [4]   Chen, Guang-Di, Misty L. McWilliams, and Laurence D. Fechter. "Succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) activity in hair cells: a correlate for permanent threshold elevations." Hearing research 145, no. 1 (2000): 91-100.

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