Essay On Otology

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Otology through the ages
The speciality of otorhinolaryngology, also called ENT surgery developed in the early 20th century, earlier to which it existed as otology and laryngology separately. Early otologists were surgeons using scalpel, syringe and trephine. The laryngologists were physicians whose speciality was throat or pharynx which later included rhinology. Over the last 30 years the specialty has undergone dramatic development and has taken advantage of new advances in endoscopy, microsurgery, the use of lasers, cytotoxic drugs, flap reconstruction and microchip technology During the same period, although still calling themselves otorhinolaryngologists, individual surgeons have subspecialised in otology, otoneurosurgery and skull-base surgery, head and neck surgery, phonosurgery, rhinology and facial aesthetics, and paediatric otorhinolaryngology. Each of these subspecialties has its own societies and journals.1 Otology, probably, one of the earliest subspecialities to develop, is still the most fascinating and has a very rich history. One of
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Otology has progressively paved its way through the history. The earliest known scientific document, the Edwin Smith Surgical Papyrus of 3000-2500 BC, includes descriptions of temporal bone injuries.2 Hippocratus, father of medicine, around 400 BC, had given the description of tympanic membrane and mastoid air cells. He had also given the description of acute and chronic otitis media as causes of deafness.3 Empedocles, 504-443 BC, a Greek philosopher, was the first to describe the cochlea. He called the structure “κόχλος”, the name of a seashell found in the Mediterranean region. Aristotle (384-322 BC) created a theory on hearing which postulated that the inner ear is a resonating chamber which vibrated in response to sound.4 His theory persisted unchallenged till Cotugno demonstrated the inner ear has only fluid in 18th
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