Important Moments in Audiology

Last time on the blog we looked at a possible future treatment for hearing loss in the work the researchers at the Eaton-Peabody Laboratories are doing in hearing restoration. This time around we wanted to give a (very) brief timeline of other events in the treatment of hearing loss and causes.

  • 1550 BCE – A famous medical scroll known as Ebers has among its many topics treatments for hearing loss. It is believed this scroll was based on older documents.
  • 4th Century BCE – Hippocrates, the famous Greek doctor/philosopher/general smart guy was the first in written history to search for the cause of hearing loss. He believed it was related to weather, tinnitus, or skull trauma.
  • 50 – 25 BCE Aulus Cornelis Celsus was the first to distinguish between different hearing disorders. Some of his treatments are still used today!
  • 1st Century CE Roman doctor Arhigenes attempts to use loud sound to stimulate the hearing systems. Thinking it would help create hearing in those with hearing loss. He was incorrect.
  • 1898 – Miller Reese Hutchison creates the Akouphone, the first electronic hearing aid.
  • The 1920s – The invention of the audiometer. This device is designed to measure hearing loss.
  • The 1940s – Hearing loss becomes much more prevalent as veterans from World War II return home with noise induced hearing loss.
  • 1946 – The word ‘Audiology’ is used for the first in the Volta Review and the Journal of Speech Disorders.
  • The 1950s – The testing of hearing using physiologic measurements are now routine.
  • 1961 – A big breakthrough as Brenda Milner and Doreen Kilmure discover the right ear’s advantage to processing language.
  • 1977 – The Academy of Doctors of Audiology is formed, the next year sees ASHA being created.
  • 2007 – Thirty years later the Au.D. degree becomes required for all professionals entering the field.
  • ???? – The future!These have been just a smattering of some of the big events in the study and treatment of hearing disorders. The field is always progressing, and as technologies advance, researches build on top of each other, the snowball effect will lead us to even newer and better treatments, and yes maybe even to restoration.