According to a study carried out by Manchester University, smokers have a 15.1% higher chance of hearing loss than non-smokers. The study found that the heavier the smoker is, and the longer they have smoked for, the greater their risk of hearing loss.
Ex-smokers however were found to reduce their chances of hearing loss by quitting smoking, although researchers speculated that this may be due to them adopting a healthier lifestyle.
The link between smoking and hearing isn’t yet clear, but researchers believe it may be related to heart disease.
“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, Piers Dawes from the Centre for Human Communication and Deafness at the University of Manchester.
The study also uncovered that passive smokers have an even greater risk of losing their hearing than smokers. Researchers did point out however that this may be because they were only compared with non-smokers in the study.
The study used data from the UK Biobank – a long-term health study that started in 2007 and is following approximately 500,000 volunteers in the UK. The study has been titled ‘Cigarette smoking, passive smoking, alcohol consumption and hearing loss’ and has been published in the Journal of the Association of Otolaryngology.
More research will be needed to identify the link in more detail, however one thing is becoming clear – we are only scratching the surface when it comes to the damage smoking can cause.
If you want help to quit smoking, you may want to try hypnotherapy. Find a hypnotherapist near you who can help you quit smoking.
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