One study, which included over 3700 people, concluded that smokers are about 70% more likely to suffer from hearing loss than non-smokers.
70% is a lot!
This study found that the more cigarettes are smoked, the more likely the smoker will suffer from hearing loss.
How Does Smoking Cause Hearing Loss?
We have all heard of the health dangers of smoking, and many of these same things apply to hearing health. For example, the relationship between heart disease and hearing loss is well-established, and it is also widely known that smokers have a higher risk of heart disease.
The body is a whole unit, so anything that is bad for one part is often bad for the whole as well as many other individual parts. Something that is bad for your heart may also be bad for your lungs and your brain and your hearing.
The same study mentioned above also implicated second-hand smoke in hearing loss risk, so even if you don’t smoke but you are often around someone who does, you can be affected.
Cigarettes and the smoke from them contain over 4000 chemicals. Of these, at least 43 are known to be cancer-causing. There are also 400 other known toxins. With so many chemicals and toxins, as well as the detriments of smoke being breathed into the lungs, vascular integrity is compromised throughout the body.
The tiny hair cells in our inner ears, which are vital to sound transmission and translation to the brain, depend on good blood circulation. The damage that cigarette smoke causes affects hearing because it hinders blood flow to this crucial area.
Ototoxic chemicals are chemicals that cause hearing loss, whether temporary or permanent. Cigarettes contain many such chemicals, so it makes sense that regular smoking can contribute to hearing loss.
What Should You Do?
Because hearing loss is irreversible, it is important to take steps to prevent and stop it from progressing. One thing you can do that will benefit your health overall and your hearing health is to stop smoking.
It’s not easy to stop smoking, but you will not regret it. Your health–and your ears—will thank you.
The first step to halting hearing loss and preventing further damage is to recognize your situation. Come in today for a hearing screening and formulate a strategy to train your brain to listen actively and effectively.
Diablo Hearing Services 2301 Camino Ramon, STE 106 San Ramon (925) 394-4646