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THE TELEPHONE AS A CAUSE OF EAR TROUBLES.

The British Medical Journal nays :—" Aa civilisation advances new diseases are not only discovered, but are actually produced by the novel agencies which are brought to bear on man's body and mind. The increase of insanity throughout the world is unquestionably due to the 'storm and stress' of our crowded modern life, aud almost every addition which science makes to the convenience of tlia majority seems to bring with it some new form of suffering to the few. Railway travelling has its amari illiquid in thi shape of slight, but possibly not unimportant, jolting of the nervous centres; the electric light has already created a special form of ophthalmia; and now we have the telephone indicated as a causc of ear troubles, which react on the spirits, and indirectly on the general health. M. GelltS has observed, not in women only, but in strong-minded aud able-bodied men, symptoms of what we may call 'aural overpressure,' caused by the condition of almost constant strain of the auditory apparatus, in which persons who use the telephone much have to spend a considerable portion of each working day. In some cases also the ear seemed to be agitated by the constantly recurring sharp tinkle of the bell, or by the nearness of the sounds con-

veyed through the tube, into a state of over-sensitiveness which made it intolerant of sound, as the eye, wheu inflamed or irritable, becomes unable to bear the light. The patients suffered from nervous excitability, with buzzing noises in the ear, giddiness, and neuralgic pains. In addition to these subjective symptoms, M. Galle in some cases found objective lesions, such as the sub-inflammatory condition of the membrana tympani. A similar condition of things is often seen in persons who spend a large portion of their lives amid the jar and crash of machinery. All the trouble speedily vanishes if the ear is allowed a suiHcieot measure of physiological rest; this it can only obtain by the cause of the evil being withdrawn. The victims of ' telephone tinnitus,' if we may so baptise this latent addition to the ills that flesh is heir to, seem all to be of markedly nervous organisation, and the moral may be drawn that such persons should not use the telephone. Mr Edison has already done something to increase the plague of ' nerves' which afflicts our generation, j and, if his brilliant career as an inventor is not cut short, there can be little doubt | that he will do yet more."

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/WT18891123.2.39.16

Bibliographic details

THE TELEPHONE AS A CAUSE OF EAR TROUBLES., Waikato Times, Volume XXXIII, Issue 2710, 23 November 1889, Supplement

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424

THE TELEPHONE AS A CAUSE OF EAR TROUBLES. Waikato Times, Volume XXXIII, Issue 2710, 23 November 1889, Supplement

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