Politzer, Adam

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POLITZER, ADAM (1835–1920), founder of modern otology. Politzer, who was born in Alberti, Hungary, studied at Vienna University where from 1870 to 1907 he was professor of otology. During his tenure Vienna became the center for study in otology for students from all over the world. His Lehrbuch der Ohrenheilkunde, published in 1878 was translated into many languages and his Geschichte der Ohrenheilkunde (2 vols., 1907–13) was the authoritative book in that field.

Politzer devised many new methods for diagnosing and treating ear diseases. He invented a method of opening a blocked eustachian tube (a method which bears his name all over the world), a method for illuminating the eardrum, an ear speculum, and a bag for inflating the middle ear. He also showed how to test for deafness in one ear. Politzer founded the Otologic Clinic at Vienna University and the Austrian Otologic Society as well as the journal Archiv fuer Ohrenheilkunde.


S.R. Kagan, Jewish Medicine (1952), 493; Biographisches Lexikon der hervorragenden Aerzte, 4 (1932).

[Suessmann Muntner]

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Politzer, Adam