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"In the study, around 40% of the 800 teens who had been exposed to secondhand smoke had detectable hearing problems, compared to about 25% of the 750 teens who had not had this exposure." -BBC News

It's unclear how much the teenagers have to be exposed to smoke to develop hearing problems. But it's suggested in this article that staying away from smoking and secondhand smoke is crucial to avoiding hearing loss. And it says that smoke does increase middle ear infections.

What do you think about this? Have you come across any articles that suggest this as well?


Bri Luginbill asked this
July 27, 2011 at 1:18 PM



Interesting. I wonder if they've determined if the smoke is the cause of the hearing loss, or if it's just because households with secondhand smoke might be more likely to have certain traits that would lead to hearing loss. Either way, it's an interesting connection!

Laura Hogg answered
August 18, 2011 at 3:56 PM

I read the same study a while back, and another one about how smoking might affect eyesight. I was, sad to say, for a long time a pretty regular smoker (started in college and found it hard to quit—but I did, eventually!) and I always felt like when I “indulged” a little too much, my eyes were suffering. Maybe it was just the smoke bothering my contact lenses, but it seemed to be more of an issue with the eyes themselves, and my doctor said that it would be wise to quit. Anyway, can’t find the article that I originally read but this one here ... talks about smoking’s connection (2nd bullet point) to cataracts and macular degeneration. Which are both pretty serious concerns, for older folks especially! Oy I see now this is in “deafness” rather than “vision impairment” but I hope others find it interesting anyway ☺

Abe answered
September 8, 2011 at 9:11 AM
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