According to a study conducted on more than 50,000 Japanese people aged between 20 and 64, the tobacco smoking harms hearing and can even cause an increased risk of hearing loss which, however, is decreasing just after the smokers quit smoking.
Researchers found out that smokers present an increased risk of hearing loss
The Japanese scientists found out that smokers present a higher risk of hearing loss. They have calculated that smokers have a risk of hearing impairments and loss by up to 1.6 times higher in comparison to the study’s participants who had never smoked, according to a Japanese study’s review which has been published in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research held by the Oxford University Press.
The study has been conducted on 50,195 Japanese smokers and non-smokers aged between 20 and 64, who were tested for hearing sense changes over a period of up to 8 years.
The authors eliminated other possible risk factors such as job, health condition, and age.
The hearing impairment in smokers is reversible after quitting smoking
The hearing impairment and loss risks related to smoking will decrease when people quit smoking.
“The risk of hearing loss associated with smoking seems to decrease in the five years after stopping smoking,” the study’s authors said. However, no theory was elaborated to explain how can cigarettes smoking damage the hearing and how can produce hearing loss.
The authors also said that the medical history of the subjects who participated in the study did not present any other risk factors related to hearing impairments or loss, such as alcohol consumption, less physical activity, or listening music at headphones at very loud volume.
In conclusion, the Japanese study concluded that smoking harms hearing but didn’t offer any theory regarding the exact way smoking is affecting hearing. However, it seems that, besides the risks of developing cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and other serious health conditions, smokers are also at risk of developing hearing impairments.