Some suggest that there is a strong link between smoking and hearing loss. They go as far as to say that even passive smoking may cause hearing loss. Others disagree, stating that they found no link. So, does smoking cause hearing loss? Let’s look at the two studies in question.
Does Smoking Cause Hearing Loss? Yes, Says 1998 Study
In June 1998, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggested a strong link between smoking and hearing loss. More than 3,000 people took part in this study, and researchers concluded that smokers are 70% more likely to develop hearing difficulties. In addition, the number of cigarettes smoked seemed directly related to the degree of severity in the hearing loss. In short, the more people smoke, the more severe the hearing loss, so the study found.
The same study also indicated that non-smokers living with smokers are 1.94 times more likely to develop hearing loss than those living with a non-smoker.
Does Smoking Cause Hearing Loss? No, Says 2004 Case Study
The results of the case-control study on the correlation between serum cotinine level and incident hearing loss differed from the above indications. No relation between serum cotinine levels and hearing loss emerged in this study. Researchers could not determine that smokers or passives smokers were more likely to develop hearing loss. They noted the contradiction to the previous study and suggested more research was necessary in this area.
In conclusion, one would have to agree that more research is necessary to fully understand and prove the link between smoking and hearing loss. Nonetheless, smoking has such a damaging effect on health that the risks of smoking are simply too great. This is regardless of whether smoking causes hearing loss or not.