Yes, it’s true. For many years, we’ve known the dangers that smoking presents to hearing. It’s only recently that they been have studying the hearing link to smoking. Dr. Bharti Katbamna from the Western Michigan University reported two distinct dangers to hearing. First, is to the hearing process. Second, is to the fine hearing nerves called hair cells.
Within our heads is a complex collection of parts that make up the ear. There’s the eardrum, three small bones, and the cochlea. The cochlea is a snail shaped bone filled with fluid and millions of hair cells. When sound travels through the air it eventually reaches the eardrum. The eardrum vibrates in sync with the sound, passing the vibration along the three bones to the inner ear, sending a wave through the fluid, stimulating the hair cells.
The recent studies show that the chemicals in cigarette smoke are dangerous to the ear, affecting both the way sound vibrates the eardrum and middle ear bones, and the health of the hair cells. The affect smoking has on hearing is related to the number of cigarettes smoked. The research shows that as the number of cigarettes smoked per day and the number of years of smoking increases, the risk for high-frequency hearing loss increases.
Unfortunately the negative effects of smoking do not stop within the inner ear but actually continue on into the brain. Also, studies suggest that chronic nicotine use impairs cognitive auditory processing. In other words smoking can negatively impact the brain’s ability to “hear” and interpret sounds.
So here is yet another reason to quit smoking and have a baseline hearing test. Call for an appointment today at 440-205-8848.
Life sounds great! Enjoy every moment!
Jane Kukula, AuD & Ashley Spisak, AuD
8897 Mentor Ave
Mentor, Ohio 44060