Smoking Linked to Hearing Loss

Smoking or exposure to cigarette smoke can be linked to an increased risk of hearing loss. The study, also suggests that nonsmokers who live with smokers are almost twice as likely to have hearing loss than those not exposed to smoke at home. About 30% to 35% of adults ages 65 to 75 have some degree of hearing loss. Smoking may contribute to hearing loss in a couple of different ways. Smoking suppresses the body's ability to repair damage to blood vessels including blood vessels feeding structures in the ear and also its ability to repair damage to tiny sound receptors in the ear called hair cells.

The Journal of American Medical Association June 3, 1998;279:1715-1719.

COMMENT: Yet another reason to avoid smoking. I would have never guessed that smoking could cause hearing loss. It just demonstrates that if you engage in known disease promoting behavior it may cause problems in unexpected ways.

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