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Smoking increases risk of hearing loss

Ear Health

There are several reasons to consider quitting the habit of smoking. These benefits include decreased heart risks, reduced risk for blood clots, lower cholesterol, prevention of emphysema, and lowered cancer risks. But did you know quitting smoking could also decrease your risk of hearing loss?

A recent study published in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research, the largest to date investigating the association between smoking and hearing loss, stated that current smokers were more likely to develop high-frequency hearing loss.

In fact, the risk for hearing loss increased with the amount of cigarettes smoked daily:

  • Up to 10 cigarettes daily resulted in a 40% increased risk
  • 11-20 cigarettes daily resulted in a 60% increased risk
  • More than 20 cigarettes daily resulted in a 70% increased risk

Moreover, “quitting smoking virtually eliminates the excess risk of hearing loss, even among quitters with short duration of cessation.”

Some common signs of high-frequency hearing loss include:

  • Difficulty understanding speech in noisy places
  • Difficulty understanding women’s or children’s voices
  • Ability to hear someone talking, but not able to make out what they are saying

If you are a current smoker or used to smoke, it may be time to get your hearing tested by one of our audiologists. Give our office a call to schedule your complimentary consultation and get a baseline test completed.

(352) 505-6766

For more information on smoking cessation, please call the Florida Quitline at 877-822-6669 or visit


Referenced article: Smoking, Smoking Cessation, and the Risk of Hearing Loss: Japan Epidemiology Collaboration on Occupational Health Study


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