Impact of Human Evolution of the Ears, Nose, and Throat of Children

March 22, 2013 - 3:00pm to 4:30pm

Impact of Human Evolution of the Ears, Nose, and Throat of Children

A talk by Charles D. Bluestone, MD (Department of Otolaryngology, University of Pittsburgh, and Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh)

In 2005, I first published the possible role human evolution has had on diseases and disorders of the ears, nose and throat, specifically that we became habitually bipedal and are “born too soon.” Since that publication, I and others have been studying, and reporting in part, how that early birth and other important aspects of human evolution have influenced these maladies in children. The most significant evolutionary changes from our early ancestors and non-human primates are that humans, in addition to bipedalism, adapted unique speech, and have a craniofacial skeleton that is remarkably different. These evolutionary differences have resulted in humans having otitis media, rhinosinusitis, obstructive sleep apnea, and infantile gastro esophageal reflux disease, all of which apparently do not occur in animals in the wild. Since most of these conditions occur in infants and young children and progressively improve with advancing age, especially in the first year of life, aggressive medical or surgical intervention may not be indicated for most, but for those who do not improve, or are severely affected, appropriate treatment will be required.

Location and Address

3106 WWPH Anthropology Lounge