Did you know smoking can exacerbate hearing loss? A recent study shows that smokers are up to 70% more susceptible to hearing loss than non-smokers. That’s a big number! The study further found that the more cigarettes that are smoked, the risk of hearing loss increases.
How is Hearing Loss Connected with Smoking?
It is impossible these days to be unaware of the hazards of a smoking habit. We also know that the body is a whole unit: so if there is damage to one system or part of the body, all of the other parts are affected too. We have discussed here that heart disease is correlated with hearing loss, and it is recognized that smokers are at higher risk of heart disease.
Recent research has uncovered how many things heart health affects in the rest of our bodies: our brains, our lungs and our hearing.
Cigarettes Contain Ototoxic Chemicals
There are more than 4000 chemicals in cigarettes, and all are harmful to our health. Over 40 of these toxins are carcinogenic. In addition to these chemicals, over 400 other known toxins are in cigarettes as well. We know that any smoke breathed into the lungs is harmful, and all of these dangerous elements in cigarette smoke make it even more detrimental. Smoking impairs vascular integrity throughout the body.
But how does smoking affect hearing? Our ears have tiny hair cells that are vital to receiving sound and translating it in the brain. Healthy blood circulation throughout the body is important to keep these tiny hair cells functioning. If they stop receiving blood, they die; and we cannot get them back. Cigarette smoke harms hearing ability because for healthy hearing we need healthy hair cells in our ears, and smoking hinders blood circulation to this critical area.
We have discussed how ototoxic medications and chemicals cause temporary or even permanent hearing loss. Cigarettes have a lot of ototoxic chemicals. That is just one more way that smoking can result in hearing loss.
What Should I Do?
Because permanent hearing damage is irreparable, prevention is key. Not smoking is one of the easiest things you can do to protect both your overall health and your hearing health.
But we get it: it’s not easy to stop smoking because nicotine is addictive. It is possible though, and worth it! Your body, including your ears, will thank you every day.
We’ve served San Jose and the Bay Area for over 40 years, providing the right solution for Your Life. Your Style.
Remember that 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