There were ear problems in ancient Greece, too.

Photo credit: Daniel Fink

by Daniel Fink, MD, Chair, The Quiet Coalition

I started my journey to Belgrade, Serbia for the 14th Congress of the International Commission on Biological Effects of Noise in Athens, Greece, where I visited some of the ancient sites before proceeding to the meeting. At the Acropolis Museum in Athens, I saw a fourth century B.C. offering that represented the body part cured by Asclepius, the Greek god of healing.

Archaeologists don’t know what malady was cured. Was it a painful ear infection? Hearing loss? Trauma to the external ear? Regardless, we have proof that our ears have been bothering us literally since ancient times. We know more about the ears now and doctors and audiologists are better able to evaluate and treat ear problems, but we still don’t seem to appreciate the hearing sense provided to us by our ears.

We should do more to protect our ears, which were meant to last a lifetime. Avoid loud noise exposure, turn down the volume, leave the noisy environment or insert your ear plugs, because if it sounds loud, it’s too loud and your auditory health is at risk.

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