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Can acupuncture help loss of hearing?

Q:   I developed sudden hearing loss 18 days ago and went to ENT in Grays Inn this week. They tried a steroid injection into the inner ear which did not work. I have heard that electro acupuncture worked for this in China.  I am looking for someone who preferably has had experience in this.

A:  This is clearly an area which modern Chinese acupuncturists are studying with great gusto, and the there are several trials with electro acupuncture, of which these are a gew examples, which give promising results, and which also assess whether electroacupuncture is as, or more, effective than ordinary manual acupuncture. 
 
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22650126
 
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19358498
 
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19835117
 
There are also studies like this one
 
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23213981
 
which look at the effect of 'ordinary' acupuncture treatment.
 
 
While these trials all fall a long way short of what we are required to cite to be able to claim that acupuncture treatment may be of benefit (the bar is set very high, but that's another story!) they certainly seem indicative of something very positive, and woith the range of conventional options being somewhat limited, it could well be worth your while to give acupuncture treatment a go.
 
Unfortunately electroacupuncture is not a part of our core training, although a great many members do use EA, sometimes having attended courses, others following well-designed protocols and using trhe equipment exactly as instructed. We do not keep records of who does and who does not - that would mean setting standards, which would be difficult to create, or allowing people to self-certify, which as a registering body we would be relucantant to do. If you speak to a BAcC member local to you, however, and in N22 there are many, they will almost certainly be able to direct you to a colleague who uses EA regularly and may be able to help.
 
The subset of people using EA is also wider than simply BAcC members with an interest in extending their skills. There is a whole EA community which includes many conventional scientists and medics, although no single professional association to which you could go for a referral. Again, our members also 'know a man who does' and we are sure that they would be able to help you track down what you need in your locale.
 
As a final remark, you may also want to keep in mind as a fallback cranial osteopathy. We have heard interesting reports that this may also help, although we would always advise the use of EA first. Indeed, we would usually point out that EA does no more than conventional  acupuncture treatment but has the advantage of persistent stimulation over time which is difficult to replicate manually. That is not to say that a competent practitioner may not be able to achieve the same results using manual acupuncture, and you have the advantage of several highly experienced practitioners in your patch. Using our 'find a practitioner' function
 
http://www.acupuncture.org.uk/baccsearch.html
 
will generate a number of useful hits.       

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