The ears, like every other body part, are subjected to wear, tear and infections. Smokers are especially prone to middle ear diseases and hearing problems. Also, their smoking can have an effect on those around them when they smoke and ear problems can linger after quitting.
Middle Ear Infections
Middle ear infections are painful. The build up of fluid can also disturb overall hearing. Smokers and smokers who have recently quit are apt to be affected with middle ear infections, and some are so severe that surgery may be required.
The irritants from smoking can pollute the air and cause Eustachian tube congestion, a painful ear condition that can lead to hearing loss if not treated. This can impact smokers, recent quitters and those subjected to passive smoking.
Dr. Zoran Becvarovski of Sydney, conducted a study at the Michigan Ear Institute, and found ear infections in smokers can lead to further complications such as meningitis and facial paralysis. He concluded that smoking increases the risk of ear diseases as well as other medical conditions. These risks are also a threat to people who have once smoked and quit.
Dr. Becvarovski also found that smokers and quitters may need more extensive and complex ear surgeries. Both also face more complications after surgery including collapsed ear drums and long-term skin graft rejection.
Smoking can damage nasal passages. The bacteria that has made its way there can easily travel to and impact the ear. Smoking also weakens the immune system, making it harder to fight off ear and other infections.