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July 1947


Author Affiliations

From the Edward C. Kirk Dental Research of the University of Pennsylvania.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1947;46(1):1-35. doi:10.1001/archotol.1947.00690020008001

THE PURPOSE of this work is to show some conditions1 that may directly affect the eustachian tube and otherwise contribute to the production of auditory symptoms, including progressive deafness, tinnitus aurium, aural vertigo and otalgia. These symptoms may have the same cause.2 The Committee on the Problems of the Hard of Hearing of the American Medical Association stated in their report2 that "the most important etiologic factors in deafness are those conditions that directly affect the eustachian tube." Among the many other etiologic factors named are infection, toxicity, metabolic deficiency, endocrine disturbances, heredity, circulatory stagnation, vasomotor disturbances and chronic irritation. Hughson and Thompson3 found, utilizing the Wever-Bray method of experimentation, that changes of pressure in the middle ear reduced auditory acuity; also, that chronic contraction of the tensor tympani and stapedius muscles reduced aural conduction. Their findings showed that injury to any part of the ear renders the ear incapable