Tinnitus in history - Is tinnitus a problem of modern times?

Discussion in 'Support' started by calin, Mar 23, 2013.

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    1. calin

      calin Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Oct 2011
      Even if many people believe that tinnitus is just another disease of modern civilization, the disorder has actually been affecting people since ancient times. Descriptions of tinnitus were already found on Babylonian clay tablets, and the disorder was also known among the Sumerians and in Ancient Egypt. However, there were neither explanations nor remedies for the "singing" or "talking" ears of those times.

      A link between hearing loss and tinnitus was reportedly established for the first time in Ancient India in the Ayur Veda science. At about the same time in China, tinnitus was considered a consequence of the disturbed interplay of Yin and Yang. In Greek-Roman Antiquity, people affected by tinnitus were ascribed the faculty of hearing divine sounds - "cosmic music" according to Plato and Pythagoras - and were therefore highly regarded. It was only Hippocrates, the most famous physician of his time (460 to 377 BC), who provided a more differentiated approach with a classification of symptoms.

      The first person to point out excessive noise as a source of tinnitus was Paracelsus at the beginning of the 15th century. The French physician G. J. du Verney, who published in 1683 the first comprehensive book on ear anatomy, physiology and pathology, localized the problem more specifically in the inner ear, describing it as a misinformation of the hearing nerve. Nevertheless, the lack of therapies runs like a central thread through the course of history.

      Various artists and musicians who suffered from tinnitus, made reference to their disorder in their artwork, e.g. Rousseau in volume 6 of his “Confessions” or Smetana in string quartet No. 1 “From my life”. The following quote by Beethoven can be found in one of his letters: "My ears whistle and buzz constantly day and night. I can say I am living a wretched life."

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