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Recurrent, bilateral or unilateral, persistent or transient, mild or profound hearing loss has been reported after spinal anaesthesia. We studied the effects of the needle type (Quincke, ballpen, pencil-point spinal needles) on hearing loss after spinal anaesthesia with the use of pure-tone audiometry.Forty-five ASA physical status I patients scheduled for elective inguinal herniorraphy with spinal anaesthesia were enrolled in the study. The patients were randomly divided into three groups. Group Q (n = 15) patients received spinal anaesthesia through a 25-gauge (G) Quincke spinal needle, group B (n = 15) patients received the same through a 25-G ballpen spinal needle and those in group P (n = 15) received the same through a 25-G pencil-point spinal needle. Patients were interviewed about postoperative complaints such as postdural puncture headache, vertigo, nausea–vomiting, transient neurological symptoms and major neurological deficits. Pure-tone audiometry was performed by an audiologist at specific time intervals.The number of patients who had greater than 10 dB hearing loss in group Q was significantly more than that found in group B and group P at 250, 500, 4000 and 6000 Hz on postoperative day 1. When group B and group P were compared for change in hearing, no statistically significant difference was detected at any frequency tested.Because the use of ballpen and pencil-point needles reduces hearing loss after spinal anaesthesia, these needles are preferred.