Smoking and Hearing Loss

How Quitting Smoking & Lowering Blood Pressure Could Support Healthy Hearing

Hearing ability is an important aspect of overall health. The things that harm our hearing tend to harm everything else too, but hearing loss is often the first consequence to ensue. Therefore, it is important to take care of our hearing and seek treatment if we experience any issues.

Hearing loss may contribute to a faster rate of atrophy in the brain and social isolation, which can lead to walking problems, falls, and even dementia. Health conditions common in older people, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, can contribute to hearing loss. Ear infections caused by viruses and bacteria, a heart condition, stroke, brain injury, or a tumor may also affect your hearing. Hearing loss can also result from taking certain medications that can damage the inner ear.

The impacts of hearing loss are broad and can be profound. They include a loss of the ability to communicate with others, delayed language development in children, social isolation, loneliness, frustration, and a drop in self-esteem and confidence. 50% of hearing loss can be prevented through public health measures. Some prevention strategies target individual lifestyle choices such as exposure to loud sounds and music or wearing protective gear.

Good hearing is also essential for physical and emotional well-being. Hearing is essential for maintaining relationships and connections with friends and family, fully participating in team and community activities, and experiencing life events. A recent study found that for Americans 65 and older, hearing loss had a greater impact on life than cardiac disease, stroke, osteoporosis, and other conditions. When it becomes harder to hear, you can miss out on important conversations, which can make understanding your relationships and surroundings more difficult. 

Smoking and Hearing Loss

Smoking is a significant risk factor for hearing loss. Nicotine and carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke can cause hearing damage, and exposure to cigarette smoke can increase the risk of developing hearing loss. Therefore, it is important to avoid smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke to protect our hearing health.

There have been many studies conducted that conclude the link between smoking and potential hearing loss. Current smokers have a 15.1 percent increased risk of hearing loss compared to non-smokers. Nicotine and carbon monoxide, which are found in cigarette smoke, can cause hearing damage. Teens exposed to cigarette smoke are two to three times as likely to develop hearing loss compared to those with little or no exposure.

Clinical studies have suggested that cigarette smoking may be associated with hearing loss, a common condition affecting older adults. Smoking was found to be statistically associated with the hearing impairment, with 65.7% of the smokers and 15% of the non-smokers having hearing impairment.

Blood Pressure and Hearing Loss

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a significant risk factor for the development of hearing loss. Hypertension can cause temporary or permanent hearing loss by overwhelming blood vessels in the ear and accelerating the degeneration of vital hearing organs. Therefore, it is important to manage high blood pressure to protect our hearing health.

High blood pressure makes blood overwhelm blood vessels in the ear, causing temporary hearing loss. Repeated cases of hypertension accelerate the degeneration of vital hearing organs, causing permanent hearing loss. Hearing loss is also associated with stroke and some mild forms of mental illnesses. While hearing loss can be caused by a variety of factors, it has become clear that high blood pressure may also be a contributing factor of hearing loss. Hypertension and hearing loss have become closely related, with recent studies showing consistently that between the ages of 45-64, hypertension and hearing loss are more common.

If you or a loved one may have hearing loss, it is important to make an appointment for a hearing test today to find out how hearing loss treatment can help you live a healthier and more fulfilling life.