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September 1, 1917


JAMA. 1917;LXIX(9):706-708. doi:10.1001/jama.1917.02590360026008

A more exact distinction might and should be made between acute deafness, that is, actual loss of all practical hearing in one or both ears, and impaired hearing or so-called deafness. The type of deafness I have in mind to discuss is one that is profound and at the same time appears suddenly. To draw an absolutely arbitrary line of distinction between this and all other types of deafness is manifestly impossible, but it is practicable to separate them into two groups for the purpose of aiding in the diagnosis and of rendering immediate first aid in order to avoid irreparable damage. Hearing many times is relative as far as it is a symptom, but when a person with normal or satisfactory hearing rapidly loses all of the hearing in one or both ears, his condition assumes a significance distinctly in a class of its own. Therefore, under the grant

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