London: Are you a passive smoker? Beware, you may be at increased risk of hearing loss, experts say.It`s already been established that people who smoke may damage their hearing. Now, the latest study, involving more than 3,000 US adults, suggested the same is true ofpassive smoking too.Experts believe that tobacco smoking may disrupt blood flow in the small vessels of the ear which could starve the organ of oxygen and lead to a build up of toxic waste, causingdamage. The harm is different to that caused by noise exposure or simple ageing. In the new study, the researchers from the University of Miami and Florida International University looked at the hearing test results of 3,307 non-smoking volunteers -- someof them were ex-smokers while some had never smoked in their lifetime.The tests measured range of hearing over low, mid and high noise frequencies. To assess passive smoke exposure, the volunteers had their blood checked for a byproduct of nicotine, called cotinine, which is made when the body comes into contact withtobacco smoke.
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