Participants: Agatha Thrash, Don Miller
Series Code: HYTH
Program Code: HYTH000181
00:01 Hello, I'm Agatha Thrash, a staff physician
00:03 from Uchee Pines Institute
00:05 We have a topic for you today that I KNOW you will enjoy!
00:09 It's about various of the precious structures we have
00:13 in the head and neck, the eyes, the ears, and so forth...
00:16 So we invite you to join us on "Help Yourself to Health"
00:40 Welcome to "Help Yourself to Health"
00:43 with Dr. Agatha Thrash of Uchee Pines Institute
00:46 And now, here's your host, Dr. Thrash
00:51 I suppose there are a hundred structures in the body
00:55 that I have told my students... this is the most marvelous
00:59 structure in ALL the human body.
01:02 And sometimes, when I think about the human ear,
01:05 I think THIS is most marvelous structure in all the human body
01:11 But then I look at the eye, and I say, "No, this is the most
01:15 marvelous structure in all the human body. "
01:18 And then I look at just a hair, or a tooth...
01:21 "No, this is the most marvelous structure in ALL the human body"
01:25 Then I look at the human placenta...
01:29 "This is the most marvelous structure"
01:31 ...Or the hand, this is the most marvelous structure.
01:35 We are just filled with priceless structures.
01:40 The one that I'd like to start talking with you about
01:43 is that of the human ear...
01:45 And I have a plastic model for you.
01:49 This plastic model is not alive, it doesn't even feel like
01:54 tissue... you know, it's not compressible.
01:57 It's just a model, and yet, this model is very intricate
02:04 and you will see that there are some things about this model
02:07 that are quite interesting to see.
02:10 They, of course, will show you things
02:14 that look just like what we have that are real...
02:17 The ear... here is the external ear, and then here is the
02:22 external ear canal... this little canal right here
02:26 And what is this that we see down at the end of the canal?
02:30 Well there it is... it's the eardrum.
02:33 The eardrum is stretched completely across
02:37 the external ear canal, so that no water could get
02:41 down in THIS chamber.
02:43 This chamber is the middle ear.
02:45 This is the external ear.
02:47 This is the middle ear.
02:48 And back here is the internal ear.
02:51 Just past the eardrum, we come to an air-filled chamber
02:56 This chamber is called the middle ear.
02:59 It is this part that gets infected a lot.
03:02 And here is the Eustachian tube... just a little part of it
03:05 It, of course, goes down here like this, comes down
03:09 and if you're very observant when you go up in an airliner,
03:14 you will feel that a little bubble of air will exchange
03:19 way down here, at the place where this Eustachian tube
03:24 goes down into the palate, back in the pharynx,
03:29 back in the back part of the throat...
03:32 Then in here, in this chamber, there are the hammer,
03:36 anvil and stirrup and the little stirrup ends right there
03:40 on a membrane which puts us in touch with the internal ear.
03:46 The internal ear is now a fluid-filled chamber
03:50 ...This is air-filled, this is air-filled,
03:53 but back here, this is fluid-filled.
03:55 And the reason that it's fluid-filled is because
03:58 these structures are extremely delicate...
04:00 There are extremely delicate hairs that string across
04:05 this little rounded part which is called the cochlea,
04:08 little hairs that are so delicate, they can hardly
04:13 even be seen with an ordinary microscope
04:15 and they're like a harp... there are short ones,
04:19 and long ones, and they resonate, or they vibrate
04:23 As we hear various pitches, they will resonate either
04:30 a very high pitch, or a very low pitch depending on
04:33 whether the little thread... the little ALMOST invisible thread
04:38 which connects to the nervous system...
04:41 whether it is very short, or very long.
04:45 Now interestingly enough, these structures can be damaged
04:49 by the magnitude of the sounds.
04:54 If they are too loud, then when they resonate with these
05:00 tiny, delicate structures, then they're likely to damage those
05:05 and when they damage them, we may become deaf...
05:08 at least for that particular tone.
05:11 So people get deafness either for high-pitched tones,
05:15 or low-pitched tones, and most of us, as we get older,
05:19 we lose some of these pitches.
05:23 But then, in addition to what we hear, there are also
05:27 the very precious semicircular canals...
05:30 And here they are right here.
05:33 And if you'll notice carefully, they go in all directions
05:37 ...so there is no way that the head can turn... this way, or
05:41 that way, or in any direction that it won't set up movement
05:46 in some portion of the semicircular canal...
05:50 And there are also, tiny, little threads connected to
05:54 our nerves of balance in the brain that tell us
05:58 exactly where we are and exactly how we move...
06:02 whether we move this way, or this way, or that way...
06:05 There is no way we can move that we can't sense that
06:09 by these very delicate structures.
06:12 I am just AMAZED at the ENGINEERING of this very
06:18 common structure.
06:19 We're always talking about a middle ear infection
06:22 We don't realize the PRECIOUSNESS of the structures
06:26 that are involved in that because it's so common
06:28 because most everybody is getting a middle ear infection
06:32 at some time in their life, and we just don't even think
06:35 about how precious these things are.
06:37 Now out here, in the external canal,
06:40 sometimes things can get wedged out here.
06:44 The wax that we produce can get wedged out there,
06:47 or some kind of foreign body can get in there,
06:50 and can get wedged in there, and sometimes that
06:54 requires some very special help.
06:55 And Don Miller, is going to talk with you a little bit about
06:59 ears, and talk with you about...
07:01 Are you going to talk with us about irrigation of the ears?
07:03 I'm going to talk about irrigation of the ears.
07:05 Very good... that will help us to know just how we can get
07:08 things out of there! Yes, that's very important to know.
07:12 You know the old saw, as we grew up...
07:14 "We should never put anything smaller than our elbows
07:16 in our ears"... and I remember as a child, trying to figure out
07:19 how do you do this... trying to get that elbow in my ear.
07:22 And I really missed the point.
07:23 We shouldn't put, really, anything in our ears without
07:26 really knowledge of how it works.
07:28 You look back in the old days when men used to use
07:31 muzzleloader rifles and they would put stuff down the
07:35 barrel and they'd pack it down...
07:36 and the purpose was to pack it down there and we'd call it
07:39 packing the charge.
07:41 Many people, they'd take that Q- tip,
07:43 and they'd pack the charge.
07:44 They just go in there and they push and they push and push
07:47 and because of the fact that this external ear canal
07:51 produces a waxy substance, we can be pushing it
07:54 and pushing it until finally we have built up such a wall of wax
07:58 that our hearing capability is impaired...
08:02 and so that needs to be cleared out.
08:03 ...Or we might have gotten something in our ear.
08:05 I remember one time, I got a little sweat bee, and it...
08:09 I guess it was looking for a way out and it went all the way
08:11 back to that window... and was trying to get through that
08:13 little window called my eardrum and it was driving me crazy.
08:17 How do you get those things out?
08:19 Well, I've asked Dr. Thrash's granddaughter, Melissa Thrash,
08:21 to help me... with a little demonstration
08:24 of some very easy equipment that we have in our homes
08:27 We're going to use something as simple as a bulb syringe.
08:33 Now, some people may have a Waterpik at home and they make
08:36 a special adapter for the Waterpik
08:39 ...and it's a long, metal wand you can do it with that, but
08:42 for right now, we're going to use something as simple
08:44 as a bulb syringe...
08:46 Whenever I go anywhere in the world,
08:47 I'll take a bunch of these with me because I run into
08:49 people with problems in their ears.
08:52 And so, what we're going to do, is assume that Melissa
08:55 has somehow gotten something in her ear...
08:58 perhaps impacted wax, or an insect, or a foreign body
09:01 and we want to get that out.
09:02 Now I'm going to stress something very important
09:07 right now because you may see this happen...
09:09 Melissa is very sensitive to having her ears touched.
09:13 She's very ticklish.
09:15 Whenever you are helping somebody with a part of the
09:18 body that's very ticklish, sometimes if they can be a
09:22 part of the treatment, it will help.
09:24 If nothing more than laying their hand on the bulb itself
09:28 ...or their hand on your hand, will help them sometimes
09:31 with this particular sensation.
09:33 We're going to see if we can do it
09:34 without having to go that far.
09:36 So what we're going to do is position her here so
09:39 that you can see that it's really happening there
09:40 in your homes.
09:41 We're going to take a basin.
09:43 Now I like to use a kidney dish but most of us don't
09:46 have kidney dishes in our home, so we'll use
09:48 something that you might have.
09:49 This is nothing more than a little red pitcher.
09:52 And we're going to put it underneath her ear...
09:54 The purpose for that... we're going to lean forward
09:56 so we can see it pretty well
09:57 The reason for the pitcher is to catch the water,
10:00 but you see, also, we have over her shoulder,
10:03 a towel because we're going to be using water.
10:05 You take the bulb syringe, and you take some water
10:08 and it should be warm water, not hot water,
10:12 and certainly not cold water...
10:13 The cold water would make her dizzy...
10:15 but warm water, perhaps the temperature of her body
10:18 ...now you have to understand and I think all of you have had
10:21 this experience when you have those few times, put a Q-tip
10:24 back there... you just touch the eardrum and it can be
10:28 exquisite pain and so the idea certainly is not to put
10:32 this thing all the way in there
10:33 and it's not to aim it back there and give it a big blast
10:37 and blast the stuff out of there because that would just
10:39 cause her pain...
10:40 And we don't want to cause Melissa pain,
10:43 so what we want to do now is,
10:44 I'm going to come around behind her so that you in the audience
10:47 can see this a little bit better
10:49 and I'm going to do a couple of things...
10:51 #1... I'm going to take the top of her ear
10:53 and sort of pull it up and out which will straighten up the
10:57 external ear canal, then I will take the bulb syringe
11:00 which I've already filled with the warm water
11:02 and I will place it in her ear canal,
11:06 aimed either up or back, but not straight in
11:09 and I will give it a soft push, so that it's not
11:13 blasting the water out, but it's going in there
11:15 enough to dislodge anything wax, bugs, popcorn,
11:20 whatever might be in her ears right now...
11:22 and just give it a nice steady stream...
11:26 That wasn't so bad, was it, Melissa?
11:29 And you would do this a number of times until
11:32 basically the problem was over...
11:34 And it's quite painless, it's quite enjoyable, quite frankly
11:38 Now, if ever the situation becomes that it's just
11:41 too hard and too impacted, if it is something like wax,
11:44 what I would do is, I would put some oil,
11:47 perhaps some olive oil, warmed up,
11:50 back in her ear and stick some cotton in and let it
11:52 sit there for a while to loosen up the wax...
11:54 And if we did something like that, she might have a whole
11:56 lot better time of getting rid of the wax build up
12:00 in her ears, or the bugs, whatever else.
12:02 I want to mention just one other thing while I'm on this
12:06 subject, or we are on this subject of ears,
12:08 and that is something that I have suffered with
12:09 for quite a few years... a thing called "tinnitus"
12:13 Tinnitus is a Latin word, basically standing for "to ring"
12:18 as in a bell, and I've got it!
12:20 It doesn't sound like a bell... I don't know what it
12:22 sounds like but it's always there.
12:25 But I can TELL when there's MORE of the tinnitus
12:28 and when there's less of the tinnitus.
12:31 And what I need to do is start finding out...
12:32 and I DO know some of the things that causes
12:34 my tinnitus to be much increased.
12:37 And one of those things is stress.
12:39 Stress will even bring on a case of tinnitus
12:43 and it's not that you have it all the time.
12:45 Some people... as a matter of fact, almost everyone
12:48 some time in their life, Dr. Thrash, will have a case
12:51 of this particular problem. Yes
12:53 Many times it will go away...
12:54 Some of us, I'm afraid, are stuck with it.
12:56 I'm afraid mine is as the result of years and years
13:00 of abusing my ears with loud noises...
13:03 I'm afraid I was in the Marine Corps for many years
13:05 I fired a lot of different weapons,
13:07 and it really made a bad problem.
13:09 It can also be a food allergy.
13:10 It can be the wax in your ears.
13:13 It can be a middle ear infection...
13:14 which we can work on by putting some tea tree oil
13:16 on our finger and go back there and rubbing that
13:19 outlet of the Eustachian tube back in the
13:21 back of our throat.
13:22 A number of things will help to reduce it, or cause it.
13:26 Diuretics will cause it, oral contraceptives will cause it...
13:30 Aspirin is very famous for causing it...
13:32 ASPIRIN is a BIG cause, and, now that wasn't my problem
13:35 but I know that one... I remember vividly
13:37 when I first got it... I had a cold
13:40 And it was a head cold, and I remember Dr. Calvin Thrash said,
13:45 "Do the Valsalva maneuver"
13:47 But by the time I told him my problem, it was too late.
13:50 Basically, he said if I would have held my nose and
13:52 done a little bit of blowing, it might have short-circuited
13:55 the problem, but since that cold,
13:57 probably 15 years ago, I am never alone in a room.
14:02 There's always someone there... Always have a ringing in the ear
14:04 Someone is ringing that bell all the time.
14:06 Well ringing in the ears is a very common problem..
14:11 And until recently, I had very little that I could tell people
14:15 to do, except make certain that they eat correctly,
14:18 and that they don't take aspirin and coffee is known
14:22 to cause it, and too much sugar is known to cause it.
14:25 But recently, I read an article in a medical journal saying that
14:30 Coenzyme Q10 generally marketed under the
14:34 trade name of CoQ10, which is a natural product can be
14:38 very helpful for ringing in the ears.
14:40 So I've told a few people that...
14:41 I don't think I've told that to Don Miller yet, but...
14:43 I'm glad you just did! I'll try it.
14:47 You could try that and see if it does work.
14:50 Some people say that it will reduce their ringing in the ears
14:53 by 90% or more.
14:54 So, it's very worthwhile.
14:56 You mentioned about loud noises and when you travel to places
15:00 where there are loud noises, always take some kind of
15:03 ear protector with you, such as this little plastic
15:07 earplug... it's just a very small thing and most people
15:10 have these around their houses somewhere
15:13 And, if you use one of these, all you have to do is just to
15:17 roll it in the fingers until it's very small,
15:21 then you introduce this into the ear, and you can see
15:25 that it doesn't take long before it assumes its
15:27 original shape and size, and so it does that
15:30 inside the ear canal and that gives you a good seal
15:34 inside the ear canal.
15:36 Sometimes people will take one this size and cut it
15:39 into two, and that's one for both ears.
15:42 They also come like this...
15:44 Then probably the deluxe variety of things to put on your ears
15:51 as ear protectors, are these very nice ear protectors
15:54 and, if I'm running some kind of loud equipment...
16:00 such as a blender in the kitchen
16:03 Any equipment that you run that if you speak in a normal
16:08 soft voice, and count... 1, 2, 3... if you can't
16:13 hear yourself saying that very distinctly, then the noise is
16:17 too loud for you ears... put on something like this.
16:19 This kind of thing rests on my refrigerator and anytime
16:24 anyone is using a blender, I always put this on them
16:27 so that I can be sure that I feel good about
16:30 protecting their ears.
16:32 Now if a siren goes past you, you should always
16:35 use these little flaps that the Lord made for us
16:38 and just push those over your ears this way.
16:41 Recently I was in a motel where they happen to have
16:46 a fire drill just at that time and I was speaking to
16:48 some ladies, and one of the ladies had a little baby
16:52 ...must have been about 2 or 3 weeks old,
16:55 and I was very pleased to see that when the bell went off,
17:00 she took her fingers and she covered the little infant's ears
17:05 ...recognizing that the little infant was much more tender
17:07 than she, and so she dealt with the infant,
17:13 and let her own ears deal with the bell-ringing.
17:17 THIS is a VERY LOUD instrument!
17:20 And, a lot of people don't realize that these can cause
17:24 bad hearing, and so anytime that you plug this in,
17:28 always plug your ears up, so that you can protect
17:31 yourself from the loss of hearing that comes from
17:36 using this on a regular basis.
17:38 Sometimes people use this on a daily basis
17:40 and, of course, using it that frequently can cause
17:44 a serious problem.
17:46 Now, the next WONDERFUL piece of equipment
17:49 that I want to show you is the human eye...
17:53 And I take the eye almost reverently.
17:57 It's just amazing how complex this structure is.
18:02 And here I have opened this model up...
18:04 and I'm showing you something that's just a model.
18:07 And yet, even this little model is very interesting.
18:12 Let me just show you some of the features of it.
18:15 Here on the front, is the lens, and this part
18:21 is the little lens that I took out very easily.
18:25 If it gets cloudy, then this little lens will need to be
18:30 taken out, and you can see that it has a
18:33 sort of a shape somewhat like a magnifying glass
18:41 and that's exactly what it is.
18:43 It is a lens and, if it gets opaque in any way,
18:47 then you're going to have to have it taken out.
18:49 That cataract can cause you to have blindness
18:53 Cataracts are one of the commonest causes...
18:55 the commonest cause of visual disability in this country.
18:59 Now, on the very front is the cornea and, then of course,
19:04 is the white part... this is the sclera,
19:07 but then, there is the iris, and this model has a nice
19:14 iris and you can see it here... it's the colored part
19:18 that you can see... right here, this part
19:21 And then, of course, the pupil, everybody is familiar with
19:23 the iris and the pupil, and then the sclera is this part.
19:29 So, just looking at the external parts that we ordinarily see,
19:34 doesn't give us much of a clue of what's on the inside.
19:37 Supporting the lens, is a little system of ligaments,
19:45 and tiny muscles... just unbelievably delicate
19:49 little muscles but they open and close in response
19:54 to light... You never had to tell the eye
19:56 "Now it's getting dim in here, you need to open up,
19:59 so that I'm able to see better. "
20:01 No, that never happens... it always does that
20:03 just automatically.
20:05 And then on the inside of the eye, we have the retina
20:08 and the retinal arteries.
20:11 The retina is this part right here, and then there is a
20:15 vitreous that is a body that fits there.
20:20 Now, you will not be able to see it too well... but I have
20:22 pasted right here on this, a little macula.
20:26 You see that little dot right there?
20:28 Now this is the optic nerve right there
20:32 with the blood vessels that come in...
20:34 the portions of the optic artery,
20:36 and then there is the little macula...
20:40 Notice that the portions of the ophthalmic artery
20:44 ...they spread out but they don't cover this part
20:48 where the macula is... there's very little direct blood flow
20:53 to it because it has to have a clear place there, over it,
20:58 it's the place where we do the most delicate portion
21:02 of our focus... the macula,
21:05 and when the macula goes bad, then that really is bad news
21:10 because the commonest cause of blindness in this country
21:13 is macular degeneration.
21:16 It has even now gone ahead of diabetic neuropathy,
21:21 or retinopathy as the cause of blindness in this country.
21:27 And, Don Miller is going to talk with you some about
21:30 macular degeneration and some issues
21:34 having to do with it... Don Miller
21:36 It's serious... it really is serious.
21:39 I know people with macular degeneration,
21:41 and basically what happens is, you get that blind spot
21:44 right in the center.
21:46 Your peripheral vision is okay because basically
21:49 your sight goes in and it focuses on the macula
21:52 and that's right there in the center...
21:54 your most important part
21:55 And the people that I know with this problem,
21:58 they could be driving, and some of them still drive,
22:00 they're driving down the street but if they go into a shadow,
22:02 they really can't see anything in the shadow.
22:05 They can see plenty of things on the periphery,
22:07 but nothing in that particular area.
22:09 Perhaps the best idea at that point would be
22:11 to look to the side, so that your eyes are pointing
22:14 in this direction and catch things in the critical time
22:17 in the peripheral vision.
22:19 And they call it, like Dr. Thrash has said...
22:21 it's the leading cause of blindness in our country today.
22:25 It's called, not just macular degeneration,
22:28 it's usually called "age-related macular degeneration"
22:32 You rarely see it before 55 years of age, but after that,
22:35 it starts showing up into the experiences of people.
22:39 You'll hear, for the most part, that there is no cure for it.
22:44 They don't know what causes it...
22:46 They don't know how to cure it.
22:47 But I do not believe that there is an ailment, a disease,
22:51 a thing that harasses man in this world that God does
22:55 not have a way to take care of.
22:58 Maybe not to completely cure, although I even believe
23:01 it's there, but we just haven't found that yet.
23:03 But I think what we're seeing, because we've seen a
23:06 great rise in macular degeneration,
23:08 what's causing the rise... and if we can find out what's
23:11 causing the rise, we might find out how to make
23:14 the rise go down.
23:16 There are certain nutrients that we take into our
23:19 bodies, each day that can stave off, or keep us from
23:25 making that macular degeneration appointment,
23:28 but if we don't do those things,
23:30 we've got a solid appointment with that.
23:32 There's been a study showing that the risk of macular
23:36 degeneration falls by 82%... if we eat a diet
23:42 high in vitamin E.
23:44 So where do we get vitamin E?
23:45 Now, you can go out to the store and buy it in little
23:47 gelcaps, but I would recommend you eat whole grains,
23:50 and nuts... that's where we find vitamin E.
23:53 What's society eating today?
23:56 It's eating highly refined carbohydrates, eating a lot of
23:59 white bread, refined wheats without the vitamin E.
24:02 When you refine it, the vitamin E goes for a hike.
24:04 And so get back to whole wheat foods and nuts
24:08 still in the shell... take it out of the shell
24:10 and you'll be getting plenty of vitamin E.
24:12 Another study shows that 83% reduction
24:16 in macular degeneration or the instance of receiving or
24:20 getting macular degeneration, if you take omega-3
24:24 fatty acids... So where do get omega-3 fatty acids?
24:27 We can get that from flaxseed...
24:29 I recommend for everybody, no matter what your
24:31 problem is, every morning you take about a tablespoonful
24:35 of flaxseed, grind it and eat it right then.
24:39 You can sprinkle it over your food... it's a very nice,
24:42 nutty flavor... Do NOT grind it up for the week
24:45 in advance because we find that flaxseed will go rancid
24:49 very bad, and then we find that this rancid fat,
24:53 will cause, and rancid foods... rancid fats of all types,
24:57 cause macular degeneration, so we want some more
25:00 antioxidants in our food.
25:02 Antioxidants such as your orange vegetables,
25:05 your yellow vegetables, and your deep, green, leafy vegetables.
25:08 There are other things it talks about...
25:11 You take things like bilberry, and blueberries,
25:14 an herb called "eyebright"
25:16 ...All of these things will help
25:17 As a matter of fact, if you have macular degeneration,
25:20 my thoughts are you do what would have kept you
25:22 from getting it in the first place...
25:24 And I recommend, if you have it right now, you eat
25:27 greens, especially things like spinach 5 times a week.
25:30 This will arrest the progress of macular degeneration
25:35 and perhaps even, by God's grace, start doing some
25:38 backwards work on that plague in our society today, Dr. Thrash
25:43 Yes, it is, indeed, a plague.
25:45 A surgeon friend of mine, just became almost totally blind
25:49 He can hardly see anything from macular degeneration,
25:53 and he's not elderly, he's maybe in his early 70s.
25:58 So it was a serious problem.
26:00 His wife, also, seems to be developing it now.
26:03 Another thing that people have as an affliction with the
26:07 eyes is that of conjunctivitis.
26:10 That's the membrane covering the eye...
26:13 And there's a very simple little eye cup which you can
26:16 find in many places, such as this little eye cup
26:20 that holds saline or some other kind of nice irrigating
26:27 fluid for the eye.
26:28 So you just fill this little cup with the saline,
26:32 then you just bend over it in this way,
26:34 put it right up against the eye, and, of course, if can't be
26:38 done with glasses on, and then when the cup makes a
26:42 seal with the cheek and the nose, and the eyebrow
26:48 above, then you just begin to bat the eyes
26:51 in the saline that you have here, and if it's
26:55 body temperature saline, then it will feel quite comfortable.
26:59 And by doing this, you can do it as often as every 15 minutes
27:03 if you have a very serious problem with the eye
27:06 You can also wash some kind of foreign body, or trash
27:11 from the eye using an eye cup like this,
27:14 but its usual use is in infections.
27:20 Now we have covered just a few things having to do with
27:23 the eyes and the ears...
27:26 I hope that some of the things we have told you
27:29 that you can do, will help you to be able to take
27:32 more responsibility for these very precious instruments
27:35 which the Lord has given us.
27:37 He has told us that these are not our own...
27:40 these belong to Him.
27:41 They've been bought with a price,
27:44 and the Bible instructs us that we can care for these
27:47 wonderful things and then we can give back to our
27:50 Heavenly Father, His own with the usury.
27:53 May God richly bless you.