The many hazards of cigarette smoking have long been under scrutiny. Research suggests that cigarette smoking can lead to lung or throat cancer, emphysema, respiratory diseases such as bronchitis, allergies, and also suppress the immune system. Despite these widely known detrimental outcomes, 1 out of 5 people in the United States continue to smoke on a regular basis. The above diseases are notoriously linked with cigarette smoking, but recent research suggests that cigarette smoking can also contribute to hearing loss.
A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association assessed the link between cigarette smoking and loss of hearing. The results found that those who smoke cigarettes have approximately double the chances of developing hearing loss. Additionally, even participants that did not smoke but lived in the same residence as a smoker were found to have hearing impairment when compared to nonsmokers who lived with other nonsmokers.
The above findings are further supplemented by other studies that show that animals suffer from damage to the cochlea after being exposed to cigarette smoke. Research shows that smoking can result in detrimental effects and damage the sensitive hair follicles within the ears which can hamper transmission of sound signals.
Research suggests that oxygen levels within the cochlea may decrease due to an increase in carbon monoxide as well as nicotine that is found in cigarette smoke. Due to oxygen depletion, the cochlea may suffer from tissue damage that can hamper hearing.
Due to the numerous studies that depict the harmful effects of cigarette smoking on hearing loss, smokers should consider having their hearing evaluated on a regular basis. Early detection of hearing loss can help smokers take action to rectify their hearing problem before it causes any further damage.
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