People who smoke not only damage their airways and blood vessels, but also significantly harm their hearing. One study showed that smoking a cigarette every day increases the risk of hearing loss. The health of young smokers is also at risk. Adolescents exposed to cigarette smoke were two to three times more likely to experience hearing loss than those with no or little exposure to cigarettes. In addition, 80 percent of participants in the study were unaware that their health was being affected and that smoking could also cause tinnitus and dizziness.
Smoking appears to be associated not only with respiratory and vascular disease but also with hearing loss.
Japanese researchers at the National Center for Global Health and Medicine in Tokyo found this in a study that followed more than 50,000 participants for up to eight years. The participants were between the ages of 20 and 64 and had no hearing impairment. Subjects were given annual audiometric tests at 1 kHz and 4 kHz, and of the 50,195 participants, 3,532 had hearing loss in the high-frequency range, while 1,575 had hearing loss in the low-frequency range. Compared to never smokers, current smokers had a relative hearing risk of 1.6 in the high-frequency range and 1.2 in the low-frequency range.
Recent American Study on Smoking.
The first study conducted in the United States, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in June 1998, concluded that each cigarette smoked increased the risk of hearing loss. In many cases, hearing problems are directly proportional to the intensity and duration of smoking. Typically, smokers are 1.69 times more likely to damage their hearing than normal people. In all age groups but the oldest, smokers are 1.30 times more likely to experience hearing loss. Taking into account factors such as work noise, age, and lifestyle, the prevalence of hearing loss remained higher among smokers. According to the study, in the youngest age group (48 to 59 years), 25.9% of smokers suffered from hearing loss, compared to 16.1% of nonsmokers. 22.7% of former smokers had hearing loss. The same trend was seen in the older population. Studies have shown that secondhand smoke also increases the risk of hearing loss. Non-smokers who smoked were 1.94 times more likely to have hearing loss compared to non-smokers who smoked. The study included 3,753 people between the ages of 48 and 92. Of those, 46 percent were nonsmokers, 39.3 percent were ex-smokers and 14.7 percent were chain smokers. Chain smokers smoked an average of 17.5 cigarettes per day.
Does smoking cause tinnitus?
Most likely yes, although more research is needed to determine this. A review of 20 studies on this topic found “good evidence” that smoking can be associated with at least tinnitus. This means that the incidence of tinnitus is higher in smokers than in nonsmokers, but no direct cause-and-effect relationship has been studied or found. The review researchers conclude from the results that people with tinnitus should be educated about the possible effects of smoking.
Can smoking cause ear infections?
Yes, for both adults and children. The reason is twofold. Smoking weakens the immune system and damages the tissues of the nose and throat. This also makes them more susceptible to infections that affect the ear. But because of the anatomy of the ear, children are initially at higher risk for ear infections. This risk is even higher if they are exposed to secondhand smoke. Indirect smoking can cause many health problems in infants and children, including more frequent and severe asthma attacks, respiratory infections, ear infections, and sudden infant death syndrome. In some cases, middle ear infections in children can lead to hearing loss.
Quick smoking cessation reduces the risk of hearing loss.
According to the study authors, the risk of hearing loss increased with the number of cigarettes smoked per day. The positive news from the study is that the risk of hearing loss returned to normal “within a relatively short period of time” after quitting smoking. The lead researcher said, “Our study confirms that smoking is an independent factor in hearing loss.” Hu Huanhuan of the National Center for Global Health and Medicine cited the news in a newsletter. He said, “The findings suggest the need for stronger tobacco control measures to prevent or delay hearing loss.”
Six tips to help you quit smoking for healthy hearing.
Every smoker swears that the cigarette they just put out is the last one. However, the biggest challenge is to stand firm in the long run. The following tips and tricks will help.
Choose the right time
Experience has shown that it is difficult to quit smoking under pressure. Therefore, you should choose a phase for your “quit program” where you don’t have to worry about professional or personal things – perhaps being on vacation. Then set a fixed date that will not be postponed.
Let family, friends, and colleagues know about your program and ask for help. You can also share ideas with like-minded people, for example in Internet forums. That’s good-the more people who know about your plan, the more likely you are to stick to it. You can also use smoke-free programs, such as Non-Smoking Heroes, that will guide you from addiction to achieving your goals with the support of experts.
Avoid the temptation to avoid
The people, places, and situations associated with smoking, especially in the early stages. Think about when you smoke – for example, while driving or in a bar, cigarettes, and coffee together. Make a list of such situations – so you always know when you need to be extra careful not to become weak again.
Prepare alternatives to smoke during the day. For example, you can chew gum, do relaxation exercises or start a new task. This distraction helps overcome acute smoking cravings.
Be kind to yourself
Have you lasted a week or a month without a cigarette? Reward yourself with a bouquet of flowers, a massage, or something else that is good for you. If you relapse, don’t throw away the cereal. A slip is not a broken leg, and many new nonsmokers experience slips. If you then consistently quit smoking, you will still achieve your goals.
Every ex-smoker has his or her own reasons for quitting, for example, to be healthy, to have children, or just to save money. Keep these strengths in mind and motivate them during the weaning process. Maybe write down your motivation on a piece of paper, the one you always carry with you and that you take with you when you are weak.
Looking After Your Hearing Health.
Hearing Aids Elite’s mission is to provide people with low-cost hearing aids that can help those who struggle with hearing loss enjoy a better quality of life. We not only make some of the world’s highest quality hearing aids but through innovation and uncompromising manufacturing standards, we provide those hearing aids at an accessible, affordable price for all, regardless of economic status. Whether you have recently started experiencing hearing loss, or if it is something that you have been trying to hide for a while from your loved ones, you are not alone. In fact, more than 48 million Americans experience some level of hearing loss from mild to severe. Hearing aids are not only expensive, but they also require quite a commitment to have them fitted, and you have to follow up and maintain them as well. For these reasons, many people simply suffer from struggling to hear, which is rather unfortunate. Hearing Aids Elite offers a product that nearly anyone will greatly appreciate. Hearing Aids Elite products require no in-person fittings or medical exams, so they are perfect to give as a gift. Plus, they have a satisfaction guarantee, we are an FDA registered manufacturer of hearing aids and follow best practices in our manufacturing processes, so there is no risk. Are you aware of any signs of hearing loss? Both current and former smokers may be at increased risk for hearing loss. If you notice changes in your hearing, it’s best to book a hearing test. Dealing with hearing loss early can make it easier to hear and reduce your risk of hearing loss. We offer a comprehensive hearing test and the latest hearing aids to keep our clients happy. Please feel free to contact one of our many locations.