It has long been known that active smoking exerts a negative effect on normal ear functioning and hearing by chronically irritating the Eustachian tube and the lining of the middle ear. Smokers tend to have more chronic ear disease requiring surgical correction, and have more advanced disease at presentation than their non-smoking counterparts. Their hearing commonly suffers as a result.

A new study presented at the 2007 AAO-HNSF Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO has shown for the first time that once surgery is performed to rid smokers of their ear disease, their postoperative hearing acuity is significantly worse than non-smokers who undergo similar surgery. They are also prone to more complications and need more revision surgery on average than non-smokers. The large retrospective study examined 1,531 procedures in 1,183 patients for ear disease from 1990-2004. Patients included 846 smokers, 291 nonsmokers, and 74 former smokers. Most importantly, patients who smoked had worse preoperative and postoperative hearing. However, those who had been smoke-free for more than five years attained recovery rates similar to nonsmokers.

These study results provide for millions of smokers who suffer from chronically infected ears and some forms of hearing loss, scientific evidence that renewed efforts to quit will positively impact their treatment course and perhaps protect their ability to hear.

Title: The Effects of Smoking on Otologic Surgery Outcomes
Authors: J. Matthew Conoyer MD, David Kaylie, MD, Bryan M. Davis, MD, Marc Logan Bennett, MD, C Gary Jackson, MD
Date: Tuesday, Sep 18, 8:02 am - 8:10 am

The AAO-HNS Annual Meeting newsroom will be located in Registration East, Street Level of the Washington, DC Convention Center. Hours of operation: Saturday, September 15, 12 pm to 5 pm; Sunday - Tuesday, September 16 -18, 7:30 am to 5 pm; and Wednesday, September 19, 7:30 am to 2 pm. The newsroom serves as a work space for credentialed members of the media and credentialed public relations staff. The newsroom is managed and staffed by the AAO-HNS Communications Unit. Please see the AAO-HNS website for media credentialing requirements for the event - entnet/ent-press/online_reg.cfm.

About the AAO-HNS

The American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery , one of the oldest medical associations in the nation, represents more than 12,000 physicians and allied health professionals who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the ears, nose, throat, and related structures of the head and neck. The Academy serves its members by facilitating the advancement of the science and art of medicine related to otolaryngology and by representing the specialty in governmental and socioeconomic issues. The organization's mission: "Working for the Best Ear, Nose, and Throat Care."


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