Early human records from the third century BC indicate that primitive cultures recognized and treated hearing loss using plant extracts and minerals with empirical or magical intent.1 However, only recently have physicians been able to treat adequately the most severe disorder of hearing, profound sensorineural hearing loss (nerve deafness). Beginning in the 1960s, the concurrent evolution of auditory science, including implantable microprocessors, microsurgery techniques, and antibiotics, opened the door to cochlear implantation, which has only become widely available for children in the past 2 decades.
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