The Treatment of Deafness
The treatment of the deaf patient has for its objective, first, the improvement of hearing, second, the prevention of further hearing loss, and third, the development of the patient's morale. All three are important but the third is forgotten all too frequently when the first two have failed. When these first two objectives cannot be attained and the unfortunate patient is doomed to a world of ever-increasing silence, he needs the help of his physician more than ever.
The first objective, the improvement of hearing, is perhaps the most difficult to attain. It is of the utmost importance that the patient be seen as early as possible after the onset of deafness. If the case is one of nerve deafness or otosclerosis, even this is of no avail. If the hearing tests do give the classic findings of a nerve deafness, a positive Rinne test associated with loss of the high tones and retention of the low tones, the patient should receive a few inflations of the eustachian tube. It has been found that, following treatment, a certain percentage of these patients will regain a large part of the hearing lost. It is not known just what the condition under these circumstances is but it must mean that there is no real involvement of the organ of Corti or of the nerve, but rather a disturbance of the delicate balance of the mechanism of hearing due to improper ventilation through the eustachian tube.
If the findings are those of a. . .