Background & Objectives: Acute otitis media is the second most common disease of childhood. With inappropriate treatment, it can progress to chronic otitis media which requires surgical intervention. Surgical treatment of chronic otitis media is based on the following two principles: complete removal of pathologic tissues and improvement of hearing level. Trauma to the inner ear cochlea (caused by suctioning, surgical drill and ossicular manipulation at the time of surgery) may cause sensorineural hearing loss. Even slight additional hearing loss can profoundly affect these patients. The objective of this study is to assess sensorineural hearing loss following surgery for chronic otitis media.
Method s : This is a comparative, analytic and cross-sectional study performed on 100 patients admitted to ENT ward of Imam Khomeini Hospital in Tabriz between 2000 and 2002. The data were analyzed after being collected using pre and postoperative audiograms.
Results: By comparing pre and postoperative audiograms, postoperative sensorineural hearing loss was found in 6 patients (6%) 5 of whom were female. The highest complication rate was seen following tympanoplasty with ossicular reconstruction. No cases of sensorineural hearing loss was found following radical and modified mastoidectomy.
Conclusion: Any type of surgical procedures in the middle ear has the potential risk for acoustic trauma and consequent hearing loss. Because middle ear surgery is performed to improve the ear function, more attention should be paid to this risk. In our study ossicular manipulation played a major role in causing sensorineural hearing loss as a postoperative complication.