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From pioneers to modern medicine: tracing the evolution of our understanding of the relationship between Eustachian tube dysfunction, alternobaric vertigo, and laryngopharyngeal reflux


Decades of research have been devoted to understanding the complicated connections between the ears, nose, throat, and stomach. Pioneers in the discipline of otolaryngology/ear, nose, and throat (ENT), James Yearsley (1805–1869) and Peter Allen (1826–1844), produced theories and concepts that allowed us to determine the relationship between these items. The current study has contributed to clarifying the complex relationship between Eustachian tube dysfunction (ETD), alternobaric vertigo (ABV), gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR), and nasopharyngeal reflux (NPR). These interrelationships are required for guiding otolaryngology research and improving patient care. This article investigates the historical and contemporary links between ETD, ABV, and LPR. James Yearsley developed the concept of “stomach deafness” in 1843, suggesting a relationship between stomach issues and hearing loss. Peter Allen thought that ETD might be related to vertigo, especially “alternobaric vertigo,” which happens when the air pressure changes in the labyrinth and affects the fluid in it. Recent investigations have shown that NPR or LPR can produce ETD and ABV by irritating and inflaming the Eustachian tube. For otolaryngology research to progress and patient care to improve, it is critical to understand both the historical and modern perspectives on these complex interactions.


Eustachian tube dysfunction, alternobaric vertigo, gastroesophageal reflux disease, laryngopharyngeal reflux, nasopharyngeal reflux