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July 1951


Author Affiliations


AMA Arch Otolaryngol. 1951;54(1):38-42. doi:10.1001/archotol.1951.03750070055004

FUNCTIONAL hearing loss is a term applied to all nonorganic deafness. It is a condition in which the patient does not fully utilize his residual hearing as determined by numerous available tests for detecting organic loss in auditory acuity. Psychogenic deafness, another synonym for functional hearing loss, has been recognized by otologists for many years but usually only in gross forms such as hysterical deafness with amblyopia and anesthesia. Recently, however, less obvious forms are being recognized, and the incidence of psychogenic components in deafness is found to be more prevalent. The only statistics regarding the incidence of functional deafness are from armed forces hearing centers, where from 10 to 25% of all hard of hearing patients were reported to have significant functional hearing involvement.1 Civilian incidence of functional deafness is probably below the percentages found in the reports from the military services. It is significant that about 70%