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The connection between smoking & hearing loss

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We all know smoking is bad for your health, but did you know it may put your hearing at risk?

A growing body of research shows that not only do smokers experience higher rates of hearing loss, but individuals exposed to secondhand smoke are also affected.

In the latest study, released last month by the University of Manchester, Dr. Piers Dawes found that smokers have 15.1 percent higher odds of hearing loss than non-smokers. More surprisingly, secondhand smoking increased hearing loss rates by 28 percent.

Although the underlying reason for the correlation is unclear, researchers speculate that it may be due to changes in the cardiovascular system that might restrict blood flow to the inner ear or due to toxins that may damage ear tissues.

“Giving up smoking and protecting your ears from loud noise are two practical steps people can take today to prevent hearing loss later in life.”

Source: Cigarette smoking, passive smoking, alcohol consumption and hearing loss. Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology.  29 May 2014.

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