There is a substantial body of evidence to suggest that smoking causes hearing loss. Some studies have suggested that it increases your risk of hearing loss by as much as 70%. This doesn’t apply just to the smokers themselves, either; scientists have shown that the impact of second-hand smoke damages hearing as well.
If you aren’t a scientist, this can be pretty difficult to wrap your head around. Most people know that aging and excessively loud noise cause hearing loss. But smoking? Today, we’d like to dive into a few theories about how exactly smoking causes hearing loss.
Not too long ago, we blogged about how an unhealthy diet can lead to hearing loss. What it boils down to is that a poor diet leads to poor cardiac health, which in turn leads to a reduction in blood flow. Reduced blood flow damages the delicate hearing cells inside your ear, causing hearing loss.
Smoking can cause hearing loss in a similar way. This is especially true when a pregnant mother smokes. The nicotine in cigarettes changes blood flow, cutting off oxygen to the developing ear of the fetus. This is one common cause of hearing loss in children.
The Central Nervous System
Your central nervous system and your ability to hear are tightly linked. These continue to develop well into your teen years. The percentage of tobacco smoking youths has decreased dramatically in recent decades, but the habit remains relatively common among older generations—including their parents’.
Toxins present in tobacco smoke—most significantly, nicotine—damage the central nervous system’s development of hearing ability. This is one theory as to why teenagers exposed to tobacco, either through personal use or second-hand smoke, show increased rates of hearing loss.
What Can I Do About It?
These are just a couple of the most common theories about how smoking causes hearing loss. If you fear that your smoking may be connected to your hearing loss, schedule a hearing evaluation as soon as you can. We will come up with the right solution for you to minimize its impact on your life.
Remember: the best way to prevent hearing loss from smoking tobacco is to quit before further damage is done. And if you haven’t picked up the habit, we strongly advise you do not.
Contact Bay Area Audiology Today for Your Hearing Evaluation
Ready to do something about your hearing loss? Our Doctor of Audiology, Dr. Trisha A. Bents Muth, is exceptionally experienced in the art of audiology, and provides the absolute best solutions. Bay Area Audiology has been working to give patients a comfortable environment with thorough evaluations. We are independently owned, and unbiased when it comes to finding you the care you need.
You can always come into the office or contact us in advance to set up an appointment. We also provide updates on our social media websites. You can check out our Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest to keep up with Bay Area Audiology.
Don’t hesitate–we can help.