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Second-hand Smoke Linked to Hearing Loss in Teens

Now we all know exposure to second hand smoke is not good for you but did you know a recent US study has found a link to second-hand smoke and hearing loss in teenagers?

It is estimated that 60% of children in the US are exposed to second-hand smoke and the study found that the greater the exposure, the higher the risk of hearing loss.

The study, led by a research team at the New York University Langone Medical Centre focused on 1,533 teens aged 12-19.  What they found was that after testing, hearing was worse in individuals exposed to smoking. They estimate that teens exposed to second-hand smoke nearly double the hearing loss risk of those who aren’t exposed.

Another interesting fact is that out of all the teens tested, 82% of them did not complain of any hearing difficulty and they were unaware they had any hearing loss. This is a definite flag for those in the hearing field as unaddressed hearing loss in the early stages can result in bigger problems as kids get older. 

I should point out that researchers did identify a number of limitations to the study. The history of prenatal exposure to second-hand smoke was inconsistent and the duration of second-hand smoke exposure as well as noise exposure history for the participants was unavailable.

Regardless, many people in the medical field feel this survey data is statistically significant and opens the door to conduct more research in the area.

Do you think that mandatory hearing tests for teens at a certain age should be mandatory? Sound off in the comments section and let me know.

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