Smoking Linked to Hearing Loss

Smoking Linked to Hearing Loss

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

27 Jun 2001, 03:19 #1

Do you need the T.V. louder than other family members? I do! I have experienced some upper frequency hearing loss but I always thought it was due to other factors : ))) I've indexed this article under the News Articles subject heading. Just one more reason to NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF OF NICOTINE!
Hearing Loss: Yet Another Smoking Risk
CHICAGO, November 2000 - Cigarette smokers, especially the heaviest smokers, are at increased risk of hearing loss, according to a study in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, official publication of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM).
Led by Dr. Noriyuki Nakanishi of Osaka University, the researchers analyzed the effects of smoking on the rate of hearing loss in nearly 1,600 Japanese male office workers.
With adjustment for other risk factors, the more a man smoked, the greater his risk of loss in the high-frequency range. The association was significant whether smoking was expressed in terms of number of cigarettes smoked per day, or as the total number of "pack-years" smoked over a lifetime.
For a man with a 40-pack-year smoking habit - that is, who smoked the equivalent of a pack of cigarettes per day for 40 years - the risk of high-frequency hearing loss was more than double that of a man who never smoked. Smoking had no apparent effect on hearing loss in the low-frequency range.
Although many different factors affect the risk of hearing loss, the researchers estimate that about 10 percent of cases remain unexplained. The new results suggest that smoking is a previously unrecognized risk factor for permanent hearing loss.
It is unknown how smoking increases the risk of hearing loss. Smoking may have a direct toxic effect on hearing, or it may cause damage by reducing blood flow to the structures involved in hearing. Smokers are less healthy than nonsmokers in several respects, and it is possible that this accounts for their higher risk of hearing loss.
Further studies will be needed to test these mechanisms. In the meantime, the results suggest that hearing loss may be added to the long list of harmful effects of smoking, providing smokers with yet another good reason to quit.
ACOEM, an international society of more than 7,000 occupational and environmental medicine physicians, provides leadership to promote optimal health and safety of workers, workplaces, and the environment by the education of health professionals and the public; stimulating research; enhancing quality of practice; guiding public policy; and advancing the field of occupational and environmental medicine.
Last edited by John (Gold) on 03 Oct 2010, 16:10, edited 2 times in total.

Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 20:35

27 Jun 2001, 03:33 #2

Thanks Zep, I never thought about that, but my hearing has really gone cattywampus. especially on the phone. I expected that because in the Air Force I was subjected to a lot of jet engine noise, and I've had ringing in the ears for decades. Now that I know that smoking can damage my hearing, I'll just count that as one more good reason to keep the quit. Thanks.
Robert2 One Month and One Day.

Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 20:25

27 Jun 2001, 03:39 #3

Unfortunately, or fortunately, my hearing was never affected by years of smoking. The slightest noises greatly annoy me.
Readings also indicated that smokers's sense of smell is also damaged yet it was not the case and it has become extremely sensitive since quitting especially when it comes to stale smoke. Yuck.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

27 Jun 2001, 07:25 #4

When my wife used to nag me to quit smoking, she used to say "You haven't heard a word I said".

Now I can explain to her why

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

27 Jun 2001, 17:51 #5

Thanks Zap, now that explains it. And I always thought my hearing is affected cause I love going to clubs to dance. At least now I will have more chance that my hearing doesn't get worse.
And of course one more reason to never take another puff.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

18 Jan 2003, 01:33 #6

Cigarette Smoking and Hearing Loss:
Lessons from the Young Adult
Periodic Examinations in Israel (YAPEIS) Database - IMAJ

by Yehonatan Sharabi, MD, Idit Reshef-Haran, MSc, Moshe Burstein, MD and Arieh Eldad, MD.

IMAJ 2002: 4: December: 1118-1120


Background: Some studies have indicated a possible link between cigarette smoking and hearing loss.

Objectives: To analyze the association between smoking and hearing loss, other than that induced by noise, and to characterize the type of HL[1] impairment found in smokers.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cross-sectional study in 13,308 men aged 20-68 (median 34.6 years) who underwent a hearing test as part of a routine periodic examination. For each subject, age, smoking status (current, past or non-smokers) and number of cigarettes per day were noted and a hearing test was performed. The test was performed in a sealed, soundproof room by an experienced audiologist and included pure tone audiometry of 250-8,000 Hz. The audiograms were analyzed and subjects were accordingly divided into two groups: those with HL and at least one of the following impairments in at least one ear: sensorineural, conductive or mixed and those with no hearing loss (control). Audiograms showing HL typical to noise exposure were excluded.

Results: The prevalence of any type of HL among subjects <35 years was 4.5%, compared to 10.5% among those >35 years (P < 0.0001). A significantly higher incidence of any type of HL was found in current (11.8%) and past smokers (11.7%) than in the non-smokers (8.1%) (P < 0.0001). The risk increment of the smoking status for developing HL among subjects under age 35 was 43%, and 17% among those above 35 years. Both mild, flat, sensorineural impairment and conductive impairment were found to be associated particularly with smoking (odds ratio 2.2 and 1.9, respectively).

Conclusions: The incidence of HL unrelated to noise exposure is higher in smokers than in non-smokers, and in young adults the effect is greater. ... ur=Vol%204. [Full text]

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:08

26 Feb 2003, 06:59 #7

The t.v. has to be turned WAY up, people almost have to shout, and all these years I thought it was because of all the concerts & nightclubs in my younger days, as well as all the factory noise I had to deal with year in and year out at work. But all this time it was smoking? Who'da thought? It's been six weeks today since I quit, and my hearing is still as bad as it ever was. But my senses of taste and smell have improved quite a bit. Not to mention my sense of self satisfaction. What a boost to my ego my quit has been. At least there is one thing I have done right.


1 month, 4 days, 2 hours, 55 minutes and ever counting up
Last edited by sharonah silver on 15 Feb 2009, 18:24, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 11 Nov 2008, 19:22

17 Nov 2009, 16:03 #8

Cigarette smoking and occupational
noise-induced hearing loss
Eur J Public Health. 2009 Nov 3. [Epub ahead of print]

Mohammadi S, Mazhari MM, Mehrparvar AH, Attarchi MS.


BACKGROUND: Noise is the most common occupational hazard. Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is a known occupational disease. The economic costs of NIHL have been estimated to be billions of dollars. Besides, cigarette smoking is a common habit worldwide.

METHODS: In a cross-sectional study, we surveyed the effect of smoking on NIHL in 504 workers in a large wagon manufacturing company exposed to noise >85 dBA. All required data were obtained using direct interview and questionnaires. To determine noise exposure level, we used industrial hygienist's reports of sound level measurements. A qualified audiologist assessed hearing status using standardized audiometric examination.

RESULTS: We concluded that the frequency of hearing loss in smokers was higher than non-smokers [based on Model 1: odds ratio (OR) = 9.35, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 5.74-15.22 and P-value < 0.001; and based on Model 2: OR = 9.06, 95% CI = 5.93-13.84 and P-value < 0.001]. Besides, these results were confirmed by logistic regression statistical method.
CONCLUSIONS: It can be concluded that smoking may accelerate NIHL, but for confirming this opinion, further studies are warranted.

PubMed Link:
Journal Link: ... t/ckp167v1

Joined: 06 Dec 2008, 16:58

03 Oct 2010, 15:55 #9

Effects of light smoking on extra-high-
frequency auditory thresholds in young adults

Journal:  Toxicology and Industrial Health, September 21, 2010 [Epub ahead of print]

Authors:  Ohgami N, Kondo T, Kato M.


There have been few reports showing a correlation between hearing levels and life style in young people. In this study, we succeeded in sensitively evaluating hearing levels in 51 young male adults of 21-23 years in age by 12 k Hz extra-high-frequency auditory thresholds, which cannot be measured by usual audiometry devices for clinical use.

Noise exposure, alcohol consumption and sleeping time did not affect hearing levels in young adults. Auditory thresholds of 12 kHz frequency in smokers were significantly (p < 0.05) higher than those in non-smokers, while there were no differences in 1 kHz, 4 kHz and 8 kHz frequencies of hearing levels between smokers and non-smokers.

Since the Brinkman Index (BI; cigarettes/day multiplied by number of years) of smokers in this study was from 12 to 60, our results suggest that even light smoking of less than 20 cigarettes/day for 3 years can result in the development of hearing loss of 12 kHz frequency in young adults. Binary logistic regression analysis again showed a correlation between hearing loss (≥40 dB of auditory thresholds in 12 kHz frequency) and light smoking (12 ≤ BI ≤ 60).

Thus, this study showed that auditory threshold at 12 kHz frequency could be a sensitive marker for hearing in young adults. More importantly, we for the first time provided epidemiological evidence that light smoking might affect hearing level at 12 kHz frequency and revealed a new risk of light smoking.

Journal Link: ... 9.abstract
PubMed Link:  

Study Quotes:
"Our results suggested that not only heavy smoking but also light smoking is highly toxic for hearing."
Last edited by FreedomNicotine on 03 Oct 2010, 16:21, edited 2 times in total.