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Case by: Jason Blalack, Boulder, Colorado.
Visit #1: A 50 year-old patient presented with hearing loss and tinnitus that had persisted for four years. One year ago, in the late fall, her hearing loss worsened and she developed a sensation of blockage in the ears. She always thought it was related to allergies (external or possibly dairy). She did a round of prednisone which helped both the hearing loss and tinnitus. After stopping prednisone the symptoms returned after four to five days. Western medicine diagnosed her with Meniere’s disease. She had a history of eczema and allergies that had recently returned. She has high blood pressure (145/90) and takes Lotrel to control it. At the visit her blood pressure was 117/80.
       Her energy was overall good. She had cold hands and feet. Her core temperature was generally ok, but can become cold when chilly out. She was thirsty and craves room temperature water. She often wakes hot when sleeping, but sleeps good overall. She is a little over committed in work etc. She had ongoing left knee pain (probably meniscus) and had muscles that can easily become tight, especially shoulders. She had lower intestinal gas and daily soft bowel movements. About 10 years prior she had fibroids with bleeding and had a hysterectomy. Every once in awhile she will get vertigo or some dizziness when standing.

Pulse:   thin, wiry, jumpy, deep, deficient. Distal is more floating and active.
Tongue: pale, some coat, curled.
Prescription:

Dang gui
9
Bai shao
9
Chuan xiong
6
Shu di
9
Sang shen
9
Ci shi
12
Zhi mu
9
Shan zhu yu
9
Shi chan pu
3
Tian ma
9
Mu xiang
6

Number of Bags: 6. Cooking Instructions 1 bag=2 days. Cook time = 45 minutes. Take between  meals 2-3 times a day.
Acupuncture: Kid3, Liv8, & Sj3
Results: Within 3 days of taking the herbs her hearing dramatically improved and continued improving over the next two weeks until it finally returned to normal.
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Showing 34 comments
  • Sharon
    Reply

    Hi Jason

    Cool case. Can you explain your process and diagnosis?

    • Jason Blalack
      Reply

      This was a blood (and yin) deficiency, with ascending yang leading to blockage in the upper orifices (ear). The treatment methods were to tonify blood and yin, descend yang, and open the ear orifice. The herbal combinations for the latter methods come from Qin Bo-Wei’s 56 methods.

  • Waylon Brackey
    Reply

    Hello there, I truly appreciated viewing the information on your web blog regarding sleep issues. Please check out this review on this new CBT method for insomnia http://youtu.be/-X3P5aR9t5E. Thanks

  • Barry Levine
    Reply

    Surprisingly fast results given the 4-year hx. Any followup? (For a case like this, usually no news is good news.)

    • Jason Blalack
      Reply

      I agree, it was fast! I am not going to claim that this is common, but it does show that Chinese medicine can be quick and effective if the diagnosis and formula are correct. I treated her off and on for then next 12 months for various other issues that popped up, but her ear issues never returned.

      • Shani
        Reply

        Hi! I have been hard of hearing/deaf for 5 years due to a virus called meningitis. Is it possible to regain my hearing?

  • Miranda Taylor
    Reply

    Great case!
    5 years ago I had a patient call me here in West Seattle about her brother who lost his hearing. She got him in to see me. His pulses were all healthy, everything looked okay except his spleen pulse was very deficient.
    He’d been on a take-out dining spree and drank 9 cokes per day. I had him remove junk from his diet. The Chinese herbal prescription got his hearing back overnight, but he took some smaller doses of herbs over the course of 3 months as his diet got all cleaned up. I recently saw him again about a minor complaint, but his hearing is still 100%.

  • Carolyn
    Reply

    What was given to gain hearing back because i have a brother loss his hearing and dr keep saying immune system is fighting against ,

    • Jason Blalack
      Reply

      Every patient needs a different treatment, so what was given would not be helpful for your brother.

  • Sajid Rafique
    Reply

    hi
    I’ve been hard of hearing all my life . I am 60 now . Two months ago my hearing went worse due to a flu that lasted 10 days..I feel blockage in my ears even though an ENT told me that my canal is clean and i don’t think your inner ear has any fluid and that you should get hearing aid.. I dont believe him ..What is your opinion ?

    • Huang Qi
      Reply

      Hi Sajid,

      I think since this was an acute incident, treating is ASAP, will give you the best chance of recovery. -Jason Blalack

  • Tai
    Reply

    I have a 3 year old daughter who is a twin. She was diagnosed with sensorineural hearing loss with speech delays from not being able to hear high frequency sounds. I have the MTHFR gene mutation and there is a good chance she may as well. I’m getting her tested for vitamin deficiency (B12 and folate primarily), gene mutations and heavy metal toxicities. She did at one point have higher than normal lead levels, had a concussion from fall, slight plagiocephaly and torticollis when she was a baby. Any cases were hearing can be restored with proper naturopathic interventions? Thanks in advance! Also, any recommendations for specialist in and or around Orlando, FL?

    • Jason Blalack
      Reply

      Hi Dr. Chizmar,

      Yes hearing loss can be restored in some cases, but you must first find the cause. I use a combination of Chinese medicine and functional medicine for such cases. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I do not know of anyone in that area. -Jason

  • Dedee Hoehn
    Reply

    This blog describes my ear issue! My ringing/ ocean sound/hearing loss started in 2014 and the ENT ran hearing test, blood work and ordered an MRI. Finding nothing he thought a virus attacked the nerve (labrytnthitis). This spring the pressure built in (both ears and caused vertigo. Hearing test showed no pressure(?) and am waiting for results from a second MRI. Took prednisone for ten days and symptoms came back. Sinuses on left ear side feel blocked,. I also have sinus pressure headaches and seasonal allergies for years. I had my first accupuncture treatment today and I could feel my left ear opening for awhile but some pressure has come back with ocean sound but no ringing. He indicated I should feel draining in the next few days and my pulses were already greatly inproved! I am very intetrested in the Chinese herbs you talk about. I plan to stay the course with accupuncture but will see my ENT for his results. I would welcome a phone consult as I live in DE. Thank you for this blog as I feel better about my condition already!

  • z
    Reply

    Is there a formula I can get with all these herbs? I have very similar symptoms as patient in this case. I woke up 3 weeks ago with no hearing in my right ear. Dizzy and cognition was affected also. I have cool body temps , pain in left knee, Back and shoulder pain that goes to my right hand, ring finger and pinky. San jiao meridian to my ear?

    I have history of allergies and had eczema bad when I was a kid. Still have dry skin and scalp. I need my life back. I need my hearing back. What formula of herbs can I get to help me. I do not understand the recipe provided. Thank you

    • Jason Blalack
      Reply

      The formula for this patient is above in the case study. However rarely would the same formula work for two people. Chinese medicine treats the individual not just the disease manifestation. I would be happy to do a consult with you if interested and find a formula for you. Jason

  • Michael
    Reply

    Hey sir I’ve been diagnosed with profound bilateral hearing loss aging 10 years from now on. Is there any treatment available?

    • Jason Blalack
      Reply

      There is no easy treatment for hearing loss and there is no specific treatment for hearing loss that I know of. In Chinese medicine we treat the individual presentation coupled with the hearing loss, coming up with a custom strategy for each individual. Does that make sense -Jason Blalack

  • prasi
    Reply

    My daughter who is just 23 days old has been diagnosed with a mild hearing loss (sensory). Audiologist mentioned that some of her hair cells are not active/damaged which is causing this and is permanent. She is going to get hearing aids very soon. Are there any treatments available which can restore her hearing loss. Kindly advise. Have a blessed day.

    • Jason Blalack
      Reply

      Hi Prasi. I am sorry your daughter is suffering from this. Treatments are based on the individual presentation and require an individual approach based on her constitution and presentation. Thus there is no cure all treatment for hearing loss, AND Chinese and functional medicine offers methods to address to this. Hearing loss is not easy, but in many it can be reversed or further damage stopped. Please let me know if you have any questions. -Jason

      • Prasi
        Reply

        Thank You Doc for the reply.Since she is too small what will be your advise to go about in her case.Kindly advise. Thanks much.

        • Jason Blalack
          Reply

          I have no advise for her. I advise finding someone in your area that can evaluate her. -Jason

  • Prasi
    Reply

    Ok thank you.Will you be able to evaluate her and if so at what age?

    • Jason Blalack
      Reply

      I am not able to evaluate her at this age over the internet. You should find someone in your area. Good luck, – Jason

  • Shilpa Manwani
    Reply

    Hello sir,
    My 4 year daughter was diagnised with severe/profound hearing loss and was recommended for Cochlear implants.but I started accupunture for her instead.she is taking accupunture since 2 months.her hearing has improved a little bit but still can’t understand language or talk.Please advice me further for Chinese medicine or What to do.
    Thanks

    • Jason Blalack
      Reply

      I would suggest a Chinese herbal regimen.

  • Maribel Torres
    Reply

    I am interested in eventually booking an appointment with you but I am currently about to deliver my baby. I have SSHL for about a month now and I am currently seeing an acupuncturist for about 3 weeks, but of course I am not taking any herbs. My question is if once I deliver can I start taking herbs or will it effect my breast milk for the baby?

    • Jason Blalack
      Reply

      Yes you can take herbs now and when you are breastfeeding. But you must have someone supervise the pick of herbs. -Jason

  • Maribel Torres
    Reply

    I asked the acupuncturist about the herbs and he said No, I showed him your recommendation but he said nothing. Now I am getting the impression he is not sure of his work or doesn’t understand the problem. I feel its best if I schedule a consultation with you. Thank you for your immediate response.

    • Jason Blalack
      Reply

      I will continue this conversation via email so as not to clog up the comments section.

  • hollyvhunt@gmail.com
    Reply

    My husband’s ears have been ringing solidly with no stopping, during the time he is awake, for about 13 days. He is going to his MD on 02/05 to get her opinion here in Little Rock, AR. His hearing is not truly sharp and has declined some in the past several years, although this ringing is something new, and hard for him to deal with. Do you have any contact with any Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor who has some real experience in our area, here in Central Arkansas? From what I have read, our American medical system has little to offer him. Thank you for taking the time to respond to our problem.
    sincerely,
    Holly Hunt

    • Jason Blalack
      Reply

      Hi Holly,

      I do not know anyone in the area. If you like I am happy to do a Skype consult with him. Please let me know if you have any questions. -Jason

  • Ansuman
    Reply

    Hello Jason, On 18th March I went for nap on noon and when I woke up I realized I am not able to hear anything with my left ear. The very next day, I rushed to emergency and just got an appointment which is on 9th April with ENT specialist. After two days, I started hearing lot of ringing sound and my hearing got better but all of sudden the next day, I felt like my left ear is clogged and no hearing at all. While I wait for the specialist appointment how can I start a treatment with you. I am right now in Canada and saw lot of comments while googling and it sounds promising. My take here as soon as I act it might be easy to recover than making a delay. Looking for your response. Thanks

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