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Your hearing health is no exception to the rule that all aspects of your health are related. If you smoke or have high blood pressure, it impacts not only your overall health but also your risk of hearing loss. While most people are aware that noise exposure and advanced age can have a significant impact on hearing health, researchers are now discovering that smoking can also impact your hearing.
Hearing loss and smoking
We now know that smoking causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung disease, diabetes, and COPD, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Additionally, smoking raises the risk of tuberculosis, some eye ailments, and immune system problems.
Researchers are now discovering a link between smoking and hearing loss. According to Reuters Health, smokers are more likely than nonsmokers to have hearing loss.
The study looked at data from almost 50,000 Japanese workers aged 20 to 64 who did not have hearing loss and then followed up eight years later. They determined that over 5,100 participants experienced hearing loss and that current smokers were 60 percent more likely to have high-frequency hearing loss than nonsmokers.
It’s vital to realize, though, that a smoking habit also has an impact on those around you. According to the study, people who live with a smoker and are exposed to second-hand smoke are more likely to have hearing loss.
Smoking and its effect on your hearing
So, what’s the link between smoking and hearing loss?
Smoking reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood, causing blood vessels throughout the body, including the ears, to constrict.
Your inner ears contain delicate cells and nerves that transfer auditory information to the brain for processing. To preserve hearing health, these cells and neurons rely on a steady oxygen supply in the blood. When these cells don’t get enough oxygen, they might get permanently damaged or destroyed, making it difficult to hear in everyday situations.
Furthermore, smoking can irritate the lining of the Eustachian tube, which connects your inner ears to the back of your throat and nose, raising the risk of infection and ear damage.
How high blood pressure can affect hearing
However, smoking isn’t the only thing that might harm your hearing. High blood pressure, often known as hypertension, can harm your body quietly for years before symptoms appear. High blood pressure can result in disability, poor quality of life, or even a deadly heart attack or stroke.
Lack of physical activity, obesity, a high-sodium diet, excessive alcohol use, stress, sleep apnea, and, most notably, smoking can all contribute to hypertension.
Nicotine in cigarettes and other tobacco products is not only addictive, but it also constricts your blood vessels, making your heart beat quicker. This causes your blood pressure to become dangerously high, and high blood pressure can harm your hearing because your heart has to work harder to pump blood to all of the body’s vital organs.
Quitting is the hearing-healthy thing to do
If you are a smoker, quitting now is one of the most critical investments you can make in your future health. The longer you smoke, the more harm you do to your entire health, including your blood pressure and hearing.
Your blood pressure will drop, and circulation will improve within 20 minutes after your last smoke, allowing your cells to obtain more necessary oxygen. Consider the benefits of quitting smoking as the days, weeks, and years pass, allowing your body to get the oxygen it needs. If you don’t smoke but have high blood pressure, it’s essential to live a healthy lifestyle that includes being active and eating nutritious food.
Don’t forget to treat your hearing loss
You can’t undo inner ear damage, but you can reduce your blood pressure and quit smoking now to prevent water harm. If you have hearing loss, it’s critical to get it treated before it worsens and creates emotional, mental, and physical problems. Make an appointment today to have your hearing loss treated and to invest in your hearing future!