Adam Politzer

Ádám Politzer (1835 - 1920)

Ádám Politzer (1835 – 1920) was a Hungarian Otolaryngologist.

Politzer, one of the principal founders of otology, was the first Professor of Otology in Vienna. His textbook ‘Lehrbuch der ohrenheilkunde‘ was for many years the standard authority on the subject

  • Born 1 October 1835 in Alberti, Hungary
  • 1859 – MD
  • 1863 – Established the first clinic in the world devoted to the treatment of ear diseases
  • 1870 – Ausserordentlicher professor of otology, University of Vienna
  • 1893 – Politzer was the first to describe otosclerosis as a specific disease fixating the stapes
  • 1903 – Immediate
  • 1907 – Retired.
  • Died 10 August 1920 August in Vienna, Austria

Medical Eponyms

Politzer manoeuver (1863) Inflation of the eustachian tube and tympanum by forcing air into the nasal cavity and pressing the nostrils shut when the patient swallows. To effect permeability of the Eustachian tube [aka Politzer’s method; Politzerization]

Politzer bag: The pear-shaped rubber bag with rubber tip used to inflate the middle ear and increase the pressure in the nasopharynx by forcing air through the eustachian tube

Politzer test: Test for function of the Eustachian tube. A tuning fork is held in front of the nose; it is heard only by the unaffected ear during swallowing

Politzer luminous cone: Triangular area at the anterior inferior part of the tympanic membrane

Politzer society: International society for Otologic surgery and Science which also awards the ‘Politzer Prize


Otosclerosis: Ankylosis of the stapes was first reported by Valsalva in 1704. Politzer was the first to describe otosclerosis as a specific disease fixating the stapes (1893). Following further research he concluded that in 1901 that otosclerosis was an independent disease and should have the right to its own chapter in otologic books. He selected the word otosclerosis to describe this new pathologic entity.

Major Publications


BA MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM. Emergency physician, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.  Passion for rugby; medical history; medical education; and asynchronous learning #FOAMed evangelist. Co-founder and CTO of Life in the Fast lane | Eponyms | Books | Twitter |

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