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Can smoking increase my risk of hearing loss?

Kelly Traver
Internal Medicine
In one study cigarette smokers were 70 percent more likely to lose their hearing than nonsmokers. Your hearing plays an important role in allowing you to engage in life fully. Protect it, and it will serve you well.
David M. Vernick, MD
Ear, Nose & Throat (Otolaryngology)
There's some evidence that smoking and secondhand smoke can increase the risk of hearing loss, as well as many other health problems. Research in animals has found nicotine-like receptors in hair cells, which suggests that smoking may be toxic to these cells. Smoking may also impair hearing by constricting blood vessels and restricting blood flow to the ears. Although some studies have not found a connection, one found that current cigarette smokers were 70% more likely to have hearing loss than nonsmokers. In all, 15 studies have looked at the effects of smoking on people's hearing, and nine have found smokers to be at increased risk of hearing loss.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.