Studies have proven that smokers are more likely to develop hearing loss than non-smokers. Smokers are 70% more prone to suffer from hearing loss than those who don’t. Because of these, other alternatives to cigarettes has sprung over the years, in an attempt to substitute the product to less harmful ones.
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Vaping, also known as e-cigarette, is said to be the healthier alternative to smoking. These are handheld devices that simulate the experience of smoking cigarettes without burning tobaccos. A juice is used to create a vapor using the device. The juice’s flavour vary from one product to another, and may or may not contain different levels of nicotine. Vapes are generally marketed as the smokers’ way to cut down or quit smoking.
Can vaping cause hearing loss?
With the recent articles talking about the link between vaping and hearing loss, more and more people have been wanting to know the connection between the two. The thing is, because this product is still relatively new to the market, there really hasn’t been much research on its relationship with hearing loss. However, there are several evident facts which suggest that the use of e-cigarettes may still pose a risk to users.
For one is the presence of nicotine in e-juices. Nicotine is one of the main reasons why tobacco cigarette is bad for the health. Vape juices also contain nicotine in varying levels. This is an addictive substance that causes side effects to the heart, hormones, and gastrointestinal system. Apart from these, it also results to constriction in the bloodstream, including the cochlea, which restricts the flow of oxygen in the ears. Keep in mind that oxygen plays a very important role in helping our cochlear hair cells convert sound waves into impulses and translate into information the brain and body uses. A decreased blood flow and reduced oxygen level can cause damage to those cells and possibly result with hearing loss.
Another reason why vaping may be harmful to the users is the presence of propylene glycol, an ototoxic substance, in juices. Studies show that using this substance topically causes inflammation to the middle ear. While there hasn’t been much proof yet when it comes to the effect of inhaling propylene glycol, it is still worthy to note the existence of this substance in using e-cigarettes.
So, is vaping not better than smoking regular cigarettes?
Because of the presence of nicotine and lack of knowledge in terms of the effects of other substances, it’s safe to say that using vapes or e-cigarettes is not exactly the healthier option of smoking. It’s still not final whether we can consider these devices as the better alternative to smoking tobacco. For all we know, they can actually be much worse. Because of the freedom to customise the juice that can be used, the nicotine level may become much higher than a regular cigarette. Being able to alter the nicotine content means the possibility of abusing it. This means a greater risk to hearing loss.
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