A cure for chronic discharge from the ears has been sought throughout the ages. The ancients Hippocrates1 (460 B. C.) and Celsus2 (30 B. C.) frequently mentioned aural suppuration and warned of the dangers which arise therefrom. In spite of these early observations, it was not until the latter part of the nineteenth century that any scientific knowledge concerning the ears and their treatment was recorded.
A possible reason for the long neglect of this subject by medical men is given by Harvey Graham in his "Story of Surgery," in which he tells of an Englishman, John of Gaddesden,3 born in 1280, who vaguely mentioned certain diseases of the ear and recommended that all morbid material in the ears be sucked out through a tube. Graham then added, "small wonder that surgeons of succeeding centuries, tough stomached though they were, left their patients' ears to the quacks."?
Eustachius4 in the
ASHLEY RE. SURGICAL AND NONSURGICAL CARE OF THE CHRONICALLY DISCHARGING MIDDLE EAR. Arch Otolaryngol. 1941;33(6):993–1003. doi:10.1001/archotol.1941.00660031004008