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November 10, 1917


Author Affiliations

Major, M. R. C., U. S. Army PHILADELPHIA

JAMA. 1917;LXIX(19):1607-1609. doi:10.1001/jama.1917.25910460001008

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In aviation we have a practical example of the importance of the ear in maintaining equilibrium. It is now recognized that equilibrium is made possible by three senses—the balance-sence of the internal ear, sight, and a group of general impressions which for convenience is called the "muscle-sense." It is not necessary for an individual to have perfect internal ears, perfect sight and perfect muscle-sense in order to have good equilibrium. If the internal ears are impaired, the individual can maintain his equilibrium by means of sight and the muscle-sense; if his sight is impaired, the ear-sense and the muscle-sense enable him to maintain his balance; and if his muscle-sense is impaired, as in tabes, his ear-sense and sight are sufficient to enable him to stand and walk with confidence and accuracy. For this reason we must remember that, through various toxemias, such as mumps, syphilis and the infectious fevers, a

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