Smoking cigarettes has long been connected with a number of health issues including heart disease, stroke, lung disease, diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Experts may soon recommend adding hearing loss this ever-growing list of health effects from smoking.
This 2020 study was published in the May issue of the American Journal of Medicine. The researchers investigated the relationship between cigarette smoking, smoking cessation and the risk of hearing loss.
A total of 81,505 women were enrolled in the study who were followed from 1991 to 2013. Their smoking and hearing status was gathered through biennial questionnaires. At the end of the study, a total of 2,760 women had developed hearing loss. Of those women:
- 66.5% had never smoked
- 22.4% were past smokers
- 11.1% were current smokers
The researchers determined a trend toward a higher risk of moderate hearing loss seen with women who smoked for more years. This same trend was seen with women who had since quit smoking. The results did indicate that this increased risk of hearing loss diminished over the first 10-14 years after quitting.
Dangers of Smoking
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 16 million Americans are living with a disease caused by smoking.
If you are a smoker, there is more than just your own health to take into consideration. Exposure to secondhand smoke contributes to 41,000 deaths of nonsmoking adults and 400 deaths of infants each year. Just like smoking, secondhand smoke can cause:
- Lung cancer
- Coronary heart disease
- Sudden infant death syndrome
- Acute respiratory infections
- Middle ear disease
- Severe asthma
- Respiratory symptoms
- Slowed lung growth
What Can You Do?
Quitting smoking is the best thing you can do for your overall health and the health of those you live with. While it does take time, your body can recover from the years’ worth of toxins. You’ll even be able to walk around Haggard Park without having to sit down to catch your breath.
If you think your hearing has been affected by your smoking, you should contact an audiologist. They will conduct a series of hearing tests in order to determine your type and degree of hearing loss. A hearing treatment plan will be put in place, and depending on your results, hearing aids may be recommended. To learn more about treating your hearing loss or to schedule an appointment with a hearing professional, contact Sharp Hearing today.