This original story appeared in the Fall 2013 NUCCA News, the quarterly newsletter of the the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association. It was part of one of three very different stories about healing through upper cervical care. This true-life story comes from Dr. Keith Denton in Monroe, Michigan, and was written by Dr. Zachary Ward.
Liz Hyer’s Hearing Loss and Meniere’s Disease
Liz Hyer had been managing her Meniere’s Disease symptoms well, until she began to take a turn for the worst. A chance reference to NUCCA (National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association) on an online-support page for Meniere’s introduced her to Dr. Keith Denton. It was the first step to finally finding the full help she needed.
"Ever since I can remember," Liz Hyer told the NUCCA News, "I have had aural fullness [feeling of fullness in the ear], tinnitus [ringing in the ear], balance problems and double vision. Six years ago I was diagnosed with bi-lateral Meniere’s disease." Gradual hearing loss in both of her ears lead to the diagnosis from her medical physician.
Meniere’s is a complex and confusing disease that affects the brainstem, creating hearing and balance disturbances. Within current medical thinking, there is little that can be done for Meniere’s patients, especially the hearing loss.
Liz says that her Meniere’s episodes were mild. Though they left her tired, with ringing in her ears, and room spinning for days at a time, they only happened every few months.
Then two years ago her condition worsened. Perhaps the most noticeable change was the severe attacks of double vision. "It was to the point where I had to drive with one eye closed in order to be able to see to drive to work. It was not an ideal situation for safe driving," Liz said. Her doctor referred her to an ENT specialist who diagnosed her with another disease, known as Brown’s syndrome.
Hearing restored with upper cervical adjustment
January 2013 was her first visit to the NUCCA doctor. "I noticed when I was having a flare up of symptoms, I would get an adjustment from my regular chiropractor and my hearing would improve somewhat," Liz said. "I did some extensive research online about Meniere’s…people were reporting that NUCCA chiropractic had helped relieve their symptoms. By the grace of God I found Dr. Keith Denton."
What happened after her first NUCCA correction? "I went home and laid down. At that point I had severe brain fog and double vision. I couldn’t think. I couldn’t see. I couldn’t hear. It felt like there was a rainforest in my head. It was like fluid running."
A week later, Liz went back to her physician, who repeated her hearing test. Liz was found to have regained her normal hearing after one adjustment. Now, nine months later, her hearing has not declined. But that was just the beginning of her healing story.
Upright MRI reveals depth of upper cervical problem
Based on recent findings in upper cervical chiropractic research, and Liz’s symptoms, Dr. Denton thought that Liz might be experiencing something known as Arnold Chiari Malformation, where the lower portion of the brain is pulled downward into her spinal canal. He suggested Liz get an upright MRI so she would have a complete understanding of what she was facing. When she approached her neurologist, he told her that the she did not have Arnold Chiari—and that there was no such thing as an upright MRI.
Several months later, Liz tracked down an upright MRI unit in Illinois (they do exist!), and discovered that she did indeed have Arnold Chiari. "Having the hearing back, I have my confidence restored, and it gives me hope that the rest will follow with time."
Just after her interview, Liz wrote to the NUCCA News the following:
"One thing I forgot to mention during the interview was that I have had years of chronic lower back pain. This has melted away along with my hearing issue since being adjusted by Dr. Denton. I have been under regular chiropractic care since I was 18, and at least twice a month for the past 11 years, without a sign of relief for my back. In just one upper cervical adjustment, years of excruciating back pain was but a memory."
Written by Dr. Ward
Father and dedicated upper cervical chiropractor. Find me practicing gentle upper cervical care in Oakland County, Michigan. Have a question or comment? I'm at your service. Reach me at my Auburn Hills chiropractic practice: (248) 598-4002.
(Editor's note: Remember the objective of upper cervical care is to correct head neck misalignment that is interfering with proper brain to body communication. When this is corrected the body functions at a higher level and can often correct other problems more efficiently on its own. Please do not confuse upper cervical care as a treatment for any condition, disease or symptom.)