Author(s): Pau H, Selvadurai D, Murty GE
Acute sensorineural hearing loss can occur after both otolaryngological and non-otolaryngological procedures. The mechanism of such hearing loss remains unproved; but nitrous oxide has been implicated and where used, attendants should be aware of its potential damage to hearing. It is essential that patients with sudden hearing loss are identified as soon as possible as the recovery rate had been shown to be higher in those who presented early; and as our case demonstrates, complete recovery is possible. Anaesthetists, non-otolaryngological surgeons, and ward nurses must be aware of this early postoperative complication if appropriate treatment is to be instituted.