New Study Suggests Smoking Can Cause Hearing Loss

April 29, 2022 2 min read

Our hearing is something most of us take for granted…those of us with impaired hearing or some degree of hearing loss know just how precious this sense is. Now a new study has revealed that smokers are putting their hearing at risk…and passive smoking can also cause some degree of hearing loss. The new study points out findings which suggest that smokers have a 15.1% increase in the risk of suffering hearing loss whilst passive smokers increase the chances of hearing loss by 28%.

Ex Smokers Have Slightly Reduced Risk

Findings also suggest that ex smokers have a slightly reduced risk of hearing loss overall which could possibly be due to those who stop smoking choosing a healthier lifestyle in general including making dietary changes and exercising more frequently.

In total, the study looked at 164 adults in the UK who were aged between 40 and 69 and who had had their hearing tested between 2007 and 2010 when they became members of Biobank which is a national project aimed at improving health.

Dr. Piers Dawes who is attached to the Centre for Human Communication and Deafness at The University of Manchester led the research and he said; “Given that around 20% of the UK population smoke and up to 60% in some countries, smoking my represent a significant cause of hearing loss worldwide.”

The research also showed that the heavier the smoker the more the risk of hearing loss increased and that many smokers with hearing loss also suffered some degree of heart disease but the links are still unclear.

What Causes The Hearing Loss?

Dr. Dawes also said that it is currently uncertain whether the toxins found in tobacco were responsible for affecting hearing directly or whether smoking related cardiovascular disease caused microvascular changes which impacted on hearing or both.

It was found that the increased risk amongst passive smokers which is higher than that of smokers could be due to the way the research was carried out. Smokers were compared to both complete non-smokers and passive smokers whilst passive smokers were only compared to non-smokers.

Dr. Dawes added that; “Smoking is often viewed as an inevitable consequence of aging but as the research published today shows, this may not always be the case. Giving up smoking and protecting your ears from loud noises are two practical steps people can take to prevent hearing loss.”

Another Reason To Give Up Smoking

So it would seem that smoking is responsible for more damage than was previously thought and this new research could encourage more people to do the sensible thing and give up smoking.

As experts research and learn more about the effects of both smoking and passive smoking, more people are looking at the alternatives to their habits. There are plenty of tried and tested tools to assist in stopping smoking and E Cigarettes are just one…their usage is certainly growing more widespread almost daily as more people begin to cotton on to the fact that they offer a pain-free way to break the chains of addiction and improve your health, wellbeing and your bank balance!