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The Connection between Smoking and Hearing Loss

Smoking is a dangerous addiction that raises for your risk of many diseases, conditions, and illnesses over time including various cancers, heart disease, lung disease, and, perhaps surprisingly, hearing loss. Scientists have not fully explored this link but a number of studies since 1998 have probed into the new, interesting area of research and have discovered some shocking parallels. Here are two highlight studies and what they discovered about the link between smoking and hearing loss.

– A study by the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1998 found that smokers are 1.69 times more likely to suffer hearing loss than other groups and heavy smokers show the highest risk and prevalence of hearing loss in every age group, excluding the most elderly. The study also showed that second hand smoke can hurt hearing as non-smokers living with a smoker are nearly twice as likely to suffer hearing loss than those who live away from second hand smoke.

– The results of a UK study were recently published in a UK hearing journal which found that smokers are 15% more likely to suffer hearing deficiencies than non-smokers and passive smokers, or those who live around second hand smoke.

Passive smokers, compared to the non-smoking group alone, were nearly 30% more likely to show signs of hearing loss.It is unclear whether the toxins in the smoke are causing damage in the hearing system or if there are minute microvascular changes occurring in the body that lead to hearing deficiencies over time. Both of the studies concluded that the length of time smoking in one’s life and the quantity of cigarettes smoked each day clearly increased risks and frequency of hearing loss.