The Link Between Secondhand Smoke and Hearing Loss in Teens

Everyone knows that smoking is bad, not only for your health but also for other people and the environment. So why do people still keep on smoking? Is it because there’s that unexplainable pleasure in doing something that you know is bad for you? The thrill of living life on the edge, is that it?

People have various reasons why they puff a stick of cigarette every now and then. Whatever it is, it doesn’t really matter. What matter more are the good reasons why you should quit now.

Hearing Loss
Another reason that might be able to convince you is the recent discovery that secondhand smoke can affect a teenager’s hearing.
A study done on 1,500 people ages 12 to 19 in different parts of the world showed that passive smoking from tobacco doubles the risk of hearing loss among teenagers. These young people who were involved in the study were evaluated inside their homes. They were given extensive hearing tests and blood tests to determine the nicotine levels in their blood.

– Sensorineural Hearing Loss
The results of the study, which were published in the Archives of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery, July issue, indicate that teens exposed to passive smoking were more prone to having sensorineural hearing loss. This refers to the hearing loss condition caused by problems in cochlea, a hearing organ inside the inner ear. This is common among aging people and children with congenital deafness.

The findings are very alarming, especially when you find out that more than 50 percent of children and teens in the United States are exposed to passive smoking. This means that more than half of the young population are bound to develop hearing problem later in life.

The study concludes that there should be more measures implemented to ensure that childhood exposure to secondhand smoke is reduced not only in their homes but also in public places. It is also suggested in the study for the children to be screened regularly for hearing problems, since it’s quite hard to recognize the onset of these types of conditions. In fact, more than 80 percent of the affected teenagers involved in the study did not even know that they have any hearing problem.

How to Quit Smoking
This and so many other reasons should convince you to kick the nicotine habit for good. Here are some ways to help you do that:

– Switch to a brand that you hate. This will help you in the process of reducing the pleasure that you get from smoking. At the same time, it’s a good idea to go for something that’s low in tar and nicotine. Nicotine is the addictive substance in cigarettes. By diminishing the nicotine, you can slowly get rid of your smoking addiction.

– Cut down the number of cigarettes you smoke each day until you can do without smoking completely. This works if cold turkey would only make you go back to smoking again and again.

– Drink milk. Milk is usually incompatible with smoking. Drinking milk more often is not only good for your bone health, it also helps you quit the nicotine habit.

– Take up a new hobby. Many smokers smoke because they have nothing better to do. If you have a new hobby, it would be easier to dodge the temptation to light up a cigarette.

– Make smoking inconvenient for you. Don’t have cigarettes readily available at home or at work.

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