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May 1957

Vertigo: Its Relation to Wax in the Swimmer's Ear

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Otolaryngology, University of Pennsylvania Graduate Hospital.

AMA Arch Otolaryngol. 1957;65(5):466-468. doi:10.1001/archotol.1957.03830230042008

Years ago, when a student, I had considerable opportunity, as a Coast Guard, and also at public swimming pools, to observe the effect of vertigo in swimmers, the circumstances under which it occurred, and its often serious outcome.

Vertigo, or dizziness, in general is considered to be a difficult subject because the term is often used loosely; it is also important because it may be a symptom of disease conditions that are not clear.1

Aural vertigo, which may occur when a person enters the cold water at the beach or swimming pool, is usually the result of the cold water entering the ears, and under certain conditions causing reflex activity in the semicircular canals of the internal ear, or labyrinth.

If the anatomy of the region is considered briefly, the semicircular canals are observed to be buried in the cavity of the petrous portion of the temporal bone. These

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