While modern advances in audiology seem to increase at an exponential pace, it’s important to look back and celebrate those who have laid the groundwork.

Join CaptionCall as we pay respect to some of the brilliant minds of the past with these 7 historical milestones in audiology.

Millennia of Milestones

The first written work we have primary evidence of that deals with hearing loss is the Ebers Papyrus from about 1550 B.C.—three and a half millennia ago. While we don’t know an exact author, it’s likely that the Egyptian Ebers Papyrus was based on earlier writings. Demonstrating that we have been trying to understand and treat hearing loss for thousands of years.

Ancient Groundbreaking

The father of modern medicine, Hippocrates (circa 460-370 B.C.), wrote extensively about hearing disorders in the Hippocratic Corpus. His early hypotheses about the causes ranged widely from the weather to physical trauma. Regardless, Hippocrates documented some of the earliest reports of tinnitus, a condition that afflicts 50 million Americans today.

Aulus Cornelius Celsus (circa 25-50 A.D.) in his first-century medical treatise De Medicina, demonstrated not only different types of hearing disorders but that these hearing disorders have different causes. His treatments prescribed for the removal of foreign bodies, like earwax, are still used to this day. 

Roman Emperor Hadrian was famous for cupping his hand behind his ear to hear better during discussions. This observation led Claudius Galenus (circa 129-216 A.D.) to the discovery that the pinna, the visible portion of the outer ear, plays a significant role in collecting soundwaves and channeling them into the ear canal.

Paving the Way for Modern Audiology

While many of the remedies of Alexander of Tralles (circa 525-605 A.D.) involved charms and amulets, he did break ground in the use of acoustic stimulation procedures as a way to improve hearing. These procedures included blowing a trumpet directly into the auditory canal to stimulate the ear.

In Speech and Its Defects by Samuel Otway Lewis Potter (1846-1914), we begin to see the modern classification of speech-language disorders. His work led to a more scientific approach to hearing loss, which aided the founding of the American Academy of Speech Correction in 1926.

One of the fathers of modern audiology, C.C. Bunch (1885-1942) wrote on many topics—from traumatic causes of deafness to deafness in aviators to hearing aids—throughout his career. The publication of his seminal work, Clinical Audiometry, is considered the beginning of the modern era of audiology.

Continuing the Legacy

CaptionCall helps put your patients back in touch with life and helps you build important relationships with them. When you recommend CaptionCall to your patients who have hearing loss that necessitates the use of captions to use the phone, you help them reconnect with friends and family. Like you, CaptionCall is here to support people’s lives. And exciting things are happening at CaptionCall! To learn more about them, call 1-877-385-0936 or visit www.captioncall.com/professionals.