Waking Up with Impaired Hearing: Perioperative Hearing Problems

perioperative hearing problems

Though waking up from surgery with impaired hearing is a rare occurrence, perioperative hearing problems can be devastating. People suffer the loss of their hearing, as well as having to recover from a surgical procedure. This article provides an introduction to the basics of perioperative hearing problems.

What Are Perioperative Hearing Problems

In some instances, patients wake up from an anesthetic only to discover that their hearing is impaired. While some experience hearing loss in just one ear, others suffer from hearing loss in both ears. By the same token, some people’s hearing fully recovers, whereas some have permanent damage to their hearing.

Perioperative hearing problems have only come to the fore in recent years with a number of experts gathering incident numbers. In 2012, Singh, Sinha and Madan found that number reporting was poor. Nonetheless, 52 cases were reported. What’s more, this research indicated that as many as 50% of people recovering from spinal anesthesia may experience perioperative hearing problems.

Causes of Perioperative Hearing Problems

The causes of perioperative hearing problems include embolisms, pharmacological causes, mechanical causes, traumatic causes, noise, and pressure changes in the cerebrospinal fluid, along with various others. In this area, Sprung et al. gathered details to identify the specific details of all incidents studied.

In this context, it also became apparent that perioperative hearing problems can be temporary or permanent.

Final Thoughts

When patient’s perioperative hearing problems do not resolve themselves, she/he will receive treatment for sudden hearing loss. In any case, if you experience hearing problems in one or both ears after surgery, seek medical help immediately and make sure to discuss the possibility of perioperative hearing problems with your physician.

Though occurrences are rare, medical professionals, as well as anesthetists, are becoming increasingly aware of this serious and very debilitating issue.