Washington: If you have been exposed to secondhand smoke (SHS) in adolescence, there are chances you may become progressively deaf.Studies have linked exposure to SHS pre-natally or during childhood with various health conditions, from low birth weight and respiratory infections to behavioural problems.Children exposed to SHS are more likely to develop recurrent middle ear infection (or otitis media) the study authors note, reports the journal Archives of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.
The rate of hearing loss appeared to be cumulative. The results also demonstrated that more than 80 percent of participants with hearing loss did not realize they had impairment.As hearing loss early in life can cause problems with development and functioning, the authors suggest that these results have "significant implications for public health in the United States." "Adolescents who are exposed to SHS may need to be more closely monitored for hearing loss," the researchers conclude. IANS
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