nitrous oxide and hearing loss 
Author Message
 nitrous oxide and hearing loss

        Newsgroups: rec.{*filter*}.misc,

Let me preface this posting by saying I do have a good reason for
crossposing between rec.{*filter*}.misc and The following
describes a problem with my hearing that *seems* to be related to
recreational nitrous oxide and/or {*filter*} usage. Although it may be
tempting for some, for those of you who feel the urge to preach to me
the about evils of recreational drug use: I've heard it, I've made my
choices, and I'd just appreciate it if you had any info that could
shed some light on the situation, okay?

A few days ago, I did two whippets (nitrous oxide containers) with
some friends. I was sure to hyperventalate beforehand, and to inhale
some air along with the (hopefully) pure nitrous in the balloon. I
did two, spaced about 10 minutes apart, and this was accompanied
with smoking some pretty decent pot. Twas lots of fun, but I'm a bit
concerned about one thing that I just read in the nitrous FAQ at

 Nitrous oxide will dissolve out of {*filter*} into air filled spaces
 eg the intestines, the middle ear. N2O in the gut will just give
 you a gut pain, but if you have ever had middle ear disease,
 or damaged ear drums, you could be in for permanent hearing
 loss. There are also some cases of transient hearing loss, but I
 don't know much about this.

I think this started happening around the time I did the nitrous...
could have been earlier... but my hearing has been a bit screwed for
a few days.  This especially concerns me because I am somewhat of
an audiophile. Anyhow... here are the symptoms: all things trebly
sound kind of grating. It's sort of as if the atmospheric pressure
has risen suddenly (like in an elevator or in an airplane) but
equalizing the pressure in my ears by clearing the eustacian (sp?)
tubes doesn't help. All things white-noisy (like the fans in the five
SCSI devices next to me) are annoying and I really want silence! Other
analogies: it's sort of as if there's just a wee bit of cotton in
my ears... the effect seems to be mostly on high freqeuncies... I
keep checking if my hair is blocking my ears ;)... but mostly the
elevator/airplane pressure analogy is the closest I can come to my
problem. Or post-loud-concert fuzziness (tinitus). Oh, something
else... just smoking pot seems to either (1) exacerbate the problem
or (2) just make me more aware that it's there. I honestly can't tell
you which it is. I don't have a problem understanding conversation at
all, it's mostly like there's this haziness/veiling effect on the high
frequencies that is still sticking with me.

The scariest part of the paranoia nitrous quote is that I did have
middle ear problems when I was young. I used to have ear infections,
and had tubes put in which were removed when I was 12 or so. I haven't
had any ear problems since then, aside from annoying globs of earwax
which I have removed periodically (I'm pretty sure this isn't the
problem now since the unsavory effect is equal in both ears).

I'm not exactly sure that this effect wasn't present before I did
the whippets (the only other time I've done 'em was about 10 years
prior... again, 2 whippets, that's it). Also, it could be transient
or related to something else totally. I realize there are people who
suck on nitrous balloons all day and probably don't have hearing
problems, but I'm concerned about myself here and was wondering anyone
out there had any (preferably non-testimonal, but I'll take whatever
I can get) insight into this. Could it (heaven forbid) have something
to do with {*filter*} alone? I just acquired some new stuff a week or
so ago, right around the time I did the nitrous. I'm a regular smoker,
averaging a hit or two every day or so (that's all I usually need to
get very pleasant effects for meditation and music listening |)

I suppose I could do the painfully obvious thing and go see an
ear doctor, but I'm not quite ready to take it that far just yet,
especially since I'm not convinced this isn't temporary. I am not
going to inhale nitrous oxide until I am convinced it didn't have
anything to do with this... and if I'm not convinced, I'll simply
abstain indefinitely (hey, I like hearing things!).

You may reply via USENET or directly to my e-mail address.

Fri, 17 Jul 1998 03:00:00 GMT
 [ 1 post ] 

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