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How smoking hurts your hearing | World No Tobacco Day

May 31 is World No Tobacco Day and while the hazardous effects of smoking are well documented, you may not know the impact smoking can have on your hearing health.

Evidence suggests smokers are 70 percent more likely to develop hearing loss than non-smokers.

Your hearing and overall health are intertwined. Quitting is one more way to help prevent permanent hearing loss. 

Here are some ways smoking hurts your hearing, detailed in a 2017 article from HearingHealth.com

Smoking affects your hearing health in a variety of ways. Cigarettes contain a lot of nasty chemicals, including formaldehyde, arsenic, ammonia, hydrogen cyanide and nicotine. Nicotine and carbon monoxide deplete oxygen levels and constrict blood vessels all over your body – including those in your inner ear responsible for maintaining hair cell health.

  • Nicotine interferes with neurotransmitters in the auditory nerve, which are responsible for telling the brain which sound you are hearing.

  • Nicotine can cause tinnitus, dizziness and vertigo.

  • Smoking irritates the Eustachian tube and lining of the middle ear.

  • Smoking damages cells in the body, turning them into free radicals that can damage DNA and cause disease.

  • Smoking may also make you more sensitive to loud noises and therefore more susceptible to developing noise-induced hearing loss.

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