Smoking & hearing loss – is there a relationship?

Did you know: New research has shown that giving up or reducing smoking and avoiding passive exposure to tobacco smoke may reduce your risk of hearing loss.

According to a recent study of more than 150,000 adults, smokers have a 15.1 per cent higher chance of having hearing loss compared to non-smokers.

Passive smoking also increased the likelihood of hearing loss, although ex-smokers were shown to have a slightly reduced risk of having hearing loss. The researchers projected this may be because once a smoker quits, they adopted a healthier lifestyle overall.

Overall the study found that the more packets that were smoked per week and the longer the individual smoked for, the greater the risk to their hearing health.

“We are not sure if toxins in tobacco smoke affect hearing directly, or whether smoking-related cardiovascular disease causes microvascular changes that impact on hearing or both,” lead researcher Dr Piers Dawes said.

The main message of the study, however, was for people to take care of their health and quit smoking.

“Giving up smoking and protecting ears from loud noise are two practical steps [which can] prevent hearing loss later in life,” the article concluded.