Hearing Center of Long Island - June 2018

The Weird History of Hearing Aids

Why Ancient Egyptians Dumped Goat Urine in Their Ears

discovered in Shanidar Cave in Iraq, predating us by around 45,000 years, indicate that many of them suffered from hearing problems just like those we struggle with today. Though it was some time before humans made any effort to actually treat hearing loss in any way. According to the Siemens website, the first prescription for reversing the effects of poor hearing comes to us from 1550 B.C. in ancient Egypt. In the Ebers Papyrus, a huge medical compendium from the era, hearing loss sufferers are instructed to treat “Ear-That-Hears-Badly” by dumping “a concoction of olive oil, red lead, ant eggs, bat wings, and goat urine into the affected ear.” Needless to say, Dr. Larry does not recommend this strategy today! Primitive hearing aids did not show up until more than 3,000 years later, in the

form of “ear trumpets.” These funnels had a wide opening, which caught soundwaves and basically blasted them right into the eardrum, making it much easier to hear in certain scenarios. Later developments in the technology shrank the trumpets down, allowing them to fit directly inside the ear. The 20th century saw the explosion of electrical technology and brought with it the closest early relative to the modern hearing aid. These “carbon microphones” and later, the “Vactuphones,” were essentially expensive microphones worn around the neck, amplifying ambient sound and directing it to the user’s ear. Over the years, these devices were replaced by the transistor hearing aid, until they turned into the ultra-advanced digital hearing aids of today.

C ontemporary hearing aids are a marvel of modern technology. With options ranging from virtually invisible devices that cancel out excess ambient noise to ones that can sync up directly with your TV or smartphone, most of us take hearing technology for granted. Some people assume that hearing loss is a product of the loud, busy modern world. But humans have been losing their hearing for as long as we have been on the Earth. The remains of homo sapiens

What Our Patients Are Saying

“My hearing problems began when family and friends got tired of me asking them to repeat themselves. My hearing difficulty was frustrating for me, but it was probably even more frustrating for them. “In October of 2004, I worked for Century 21 located right up the block from Hearing Center of Long Island. I went to your office and met Dr. Cardano and Dr. Lazzaro. They were very informative and made improving my hearing very simple to do. “Choosing Hearing Center of Long Island to provide my hearing care turned out to be the best decision I ever made. My hearing improved

immediately and continues to be a great asset to me today. “The office staff was very helpful from the beginning and continues to be that way today. The office was and continues to be a very positive place to go. I have good times every time I have an appointment. After all the years I have been associated with Hearing Center of Long Island, the same great attitude continues by

Mr. Shaw and Dr. Jennifer Lazzaro

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doctors and support staff. “Thank you for all you do.”

-Jack Shaw, Massapequa Park, NY

2 • We’re listening to you.


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