Smoking increases the risk of hearing loss according to a recent study conducted by a team of Japanese researchers. Conversely, by stopping to smoke, one can lower his or her risk of developing hearing problems.
The ravages of cigarettes on the brain, heart, lungs are well known. But it seems that tobacco also damages hearing. Japanese researchers conducted a study on a panel of more than 50,000 participants. The results indicate an increased risk of hearing loss among smokers compared to non-smokers. In the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research, the team of Dr. Huanhuan Hu, lead author of the study, evaluates the increased risk of hearing loss in a range of 20 to 60%.
The survey was based on the annual health check data of each volunteer, including multi-year (up to eight) audition tests and a lifestyle questionnaire. Risk factors such as age, occupation and health status (cardiovascular disease, diabetes, overweight, etc.) were not included in the results. Lack of physical activity and music listening at a high level were also not considered.
For Dr. Huanhuan Hu, Chief Scientist of the National Center for Global Health and Medicine in Japan, these findings “provide strong evidence to support that smoking is a causative factor of hearing loss and emphasize the need for tobacco control to prevent or delay the development of hearing loss. ”
The damages are reversible
According to the researchers, it is possible to reverse the harm of smoking on hearing by changing one’s lifestyle. In the study, the risk of hearing loss decreased in people who abandoned their smoking habit. “The risk of hearing loss associated with smoking seems to decrease in the five years after stopping smoking,” said the authors.