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Earliest historic reference of ’tinnitus’ is controversial

  • S. Dietrich (a1)

Tinnitus, that is defined as ’ringing in the ear’, is and has probably always been a very common phenomenon in the health history of mankind. A variety of pathomechanisms for its onset has been proposed in the past and this trend sees no stopping. Precise pathomechanisms still remain unclear. From the historical point of view, tinnitus is a very interesting topic but there is a lack of scientific enquiries. As its earliest historic reference, the Papyrus Ebers is often cited. By reviewing the original source, however, it is very unlikely that this contains the earliest historic reference of tinnitus. It is rather likely indeed that tinnitus was a known symptom in the ancient Egypt but it has never been exclusively been written down. This article reviews data provided by this fascinating historical period on the questionable reference and highlights the impact of history on the modern status of tinnitus.

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The Journal of Laryngology & Otology
  • ISSN: 0022-2151
  • EISSN: 1748-5460
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-laryngology-and-otology
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