5Jul2015

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Can smoking be causing you hearing loss?

Posted on Jul 5, 2015

Smoking is a habit which can have a raft of associated health risks, both for the smoker and for those around them. According to the Department of Health, smoking is thought to kill some 15,000 Australians each year1.

Fortunately, the rate of people smoking or first beginning to pick up the habit has gradually begun to decrease – with people aged between 18-49 less likely to smoke than was the case 20 years ago1

However, there still remains a part of the population who put their wellbeing at risk through smoking. What some may not have realised, though, is the affect that tobacco and cigarettes can have on your hearing. 

Smoking and the danger of hearing loss 

A recent study by the University of Manchester has found that people who smoke have a higher risk of experiencing hearing loss2.

When compared to non-smokers, the study revealed that smokers were 15.1 per cent more likely to be affected by the condition. Over 164,770 adults in the UK aged 40-69 took part in the survey. In addition, it was also noted that second-hand or passive smoking also increased the risk of hearing loss by 28 per cent2.  

"We found the more packets you smoke per week and the longer you smoke, the greater the risk you will damage your hearing," said the University of Manchester's Dr Piers Dawes. 

"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."2

It's important to note that for those who had quit smoking, the risk of hearing loss was slightly reduced, however, researchers believed this link may be due to the adoption of a healthier lifestyle.2

If you're interested in learning more about preserving your hearing, click here or call 1800 340 631 to book a FREE check-up with your local HEARINGLife clinic.

1Department of Health, Tobacco key facts and figures. Accessed July 3, 2015. Available here.

2University of Manchester, Smokers and passive smokers more likely to suffer hearing loss, study shows. Accessed July 3, 2015. Available here

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