How Smoking & Drinking May Affect Hearing
We know that smoking and drinking alcohol excessively can have a highly detrimental impact on our health, but one thing that you might not realize is that they impact our hearing health too. If you’re looking to improve your hearing and ensure its protected going forward, it’s important to take this into account.
We’re going to talk today about how smoking and drinking can affect our hearing and why it’s important to temper these vices in order to protect the quality of our hearing and the health of our ears. Keep reading to find out more.
SMOKING MAKES HEARING LOSS MORE LIKELY
Smoking is dangerous for our bodies in such a wide variety of ways, but when it comes to the way in which smoking impacts our hearing, it all comes down to the effect of the nicotine found in cigarettes. There’s one ototoxic chemical in particular that’s found in nicotine that’s known to restrict blood flow, which then starves the cells of the oxygen they need.
The cells found in the ear are quite delicate and are particularly easy to damage by the chemicals found in nicotine. These cells essentially suffocate due to the lack of oxygen and this leads them to die off, reducing your ears’ hearing capabilities. It’s all about the way in which your range of hearing is reduced by this impact on the cells.
NICOTINE REDUCES BLOOD FLOW
Nicotine is known for reducing blood flow across the body, and that’s why people who smoke are more likely than others to experience blood flow issues and things of that nature. It’s one of the most important reasons to give up smoking. Damaged blood cells throughout the body lead to all kinds of problems and ultimately lead to a shortening of a person’s lifespan.
It really is as serious as that. Nicotine isn’t the only damaging and risky part of smoking of course. But when it comes to the health of your hearing and the necessary blood flow and oxygen delivery to the cells in your ears, it’s very much about the impact nicotine has on your body.
DRINKING AND HEARING LOSS
We’ve known for a long time that drinking alcohol to excessive levels is very bad and damaging to our health. But it’s only in more recent times that we’ve come to fully understand the extent of the damage drinking can have on your levels of hearing and your hearing range. That can’t be ignored any longer however.
Recent research by the University of Ulm in Germany found that greater levels of alcohol consumption can damage the central auditory cortex in the brain, and that’s the part of the brain that’s responsible for interpreting sounds that the ears receive. The damage caused to the cells in this part of the brain can’t be reversed either, so the damage is permanent once it’s been done.
TEMPORARY HEARING LOSS CAN BECOME PERMANENT
It’s not uncommon for people to experience temporary hearing loss after a heavy night of drinking. That’s the effect that drinking can have on your hearing, but in the vast majority of cases, the hearing range will return to a normal level after the impact of the alcohol and the subsequent hangover have fully subsided.
That period in which the hearing returns to normal doesn’t necessarily allow the brain to fully recover from the damage that’s been done however. So over time, as you drink more, you’ll do greater levels of damage to your hearing and that will eventually lead to permanent damage that won’t be so easily reversed.
MAKE CHANGES TODAY
Making healthy changes will positively impact your body in a wide range of ways. So, if you want to make yourself a little healthier and make a positive change for your hearing, you should think about how you can quit smoking and maybe also reduce your levels of alcohol consumption.
There’s plenty of help and support out there for people who are looking to make these healthy changes, so don’t underestimate how much of a positive impact this could have on your body in general and your hearing specifically.
Looking after your health is vital for a variety of reasons, but you shouldn’t overlook how drinking excessively and smoking can impact your hearing health. If you’re looking for help with your hearing, you can contact House of Hearing at (844) 664-3210. We’ll be able to test and assess your hearing and recommend the next steps you should take as you move forward.