The Medical Lives of History`s Famous People

Indexed in: EBSCO

This eBook “ Medical Lives of History`s Famous People” highlights the consequences of numerous medical concerns of historical individuals. It also discusses in depth how the public lives of ...
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The Deafness of Beethoven

Pp. 190-194 (5)

William James Maloney

Abstract

Ludwig van Beethoven was the greatest musical composer that the world has ever known. In a tragic twist of irony, the creator of the most beloved musical compositions became deaf in the prime of his life and career. Many historians have attempted to determine the cause of this deafness. The most logical diagnosis is Pagetʼs disease. Pagetʼs disease is a chronic metabolic disorder that is characterized by the abnormal formation and resorption of bone. The disease most likely caused Beethovenʼs deafness by compressing his eighth cranial nerve.

Keywords:

Beethoven, deafness, ear malformation, hearing loss, jaundice, Mozart, Napoleon, otitis media, Pagetʼs disease, premature birth, presbyacusis, Salieri, the Eroica Symphony.

Affiliation:

New York University College of Dentistry 345 First Avenue New York NY 10010 USA.