Smoking and Tinnitus: How Are They Related?


Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, is relatively more common than you’d think. The medical condition can worsen and have severe consequences for those who smoke cigarettes, cigars, or pipes. But, this isn’t all.

Some research estimates even suggest that the yearly social and economic costs of tinnitus range between $700 and $2,000 (USD) per person. Hence, you need to control this condition and give up smoking. 

Here is everything you need to know about smoking and tinnitus.

What is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is a condition were you hear noises, such as ringing, roaring, and whistling in your ears. Most people with tinnitus also have hearing loss. It is not a sickness but a symptom of something wrong in the auditory system, including the ear.

Researchers have found that several factors, including smoking, can trigger tinnitus. 

Does Smoking Cause Tinnitus?

People who smoke are much more likely to suffer from tinnitus than the rest of the population, suggesting a link between smoking and tinnitus.

One study also proved that smokers were 60 percent more likely to develop tinnitus than non-smokers. Tobacco can irritate and inflame your blood vessels, causing them to swell and trigger a headache or ringing in your ears.

How Does Smoking Affect Your Ears?

The nicotine and carbon monoxide in cigarettes results in the contraction of your blood vessels, making it harder for your ears to drain properly. It ultimately leads to a clogged Eustachian tube. 

When you have fluid buildup in your Eustachian pipe, it causes pressure on your eardrum that may lead to mild hearing loss. Smoking can also lead to tinnitus by causing you to lose hair cells in your inner ear. These cells provide important feedback when sound waves enter your ear canal.

Passive Smoking and Tinnitus

The passive or second-hand smoke that non-smokers inhale contains over 4,000 chemicals and dozens of carcinogens. These substances are deposited into the lining of blood vessels and other soft tissues in the body, where they begin to oxidize. 

As these toxins enter circulation, they can cause inflammation in organs such as your ears and brain. This inflammation can lead to changes in tinnitus symptoms, which may develop gradually over several years as you continue to smoke.

Is Quitting Smoking A Good Way To Reduce Tinnitus Symptoms?

Tinnitus symptoms could get worse if you smoke. Since this condition is a symptom of damage to your ears, you can prevent it by giving up smoking. It is essential because the habit also damages other areas of your body, including your heart and lungs. 

You can take professional help from a doctor or counselor if you want to stop smoking. They can work with you to develop an individualized plan to help you get better. 

In The End 

If you are already trapped in the cobweb of smoking and tinnitus, you may see a doctor or audiologist to ensure there isn’t something else going on, such as an ear infection. If your visit to the doctor turns out to be nothing, try to relax. Stress makes tinnitus worse.    


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