Vaping and hearing loss – is there a link?

  • Hearing News  •   May, 18 2019

“The problem is particularly worrying since so many young people are taking up vaping, with manufacturers clearly targeting young people with sweet-flavoured juices.”

Steven McCluskey, Audiologist

Studies have long since shown that smoking can damage your hearing; nicotine restricts blood flow to the ears, potentially damaging delicate ear cells. However, with the trend towards vaping as an alternative to smoking, especially for young people, concerns are now being raised that vaping might also have a negative effect on hearing.

E-cigarettes, vaping pens and mod boxes allow users to inhale a vapour containing varying levels of nicotine as well as other substances. These devices have a heating element which heats up the substance in the cartridge with vapour being released and inhaled by the user.

There are thousands of vape juices currently on the market but as yet there are no regulations in force to check that they are safe. This makes it impossible to know if inhaling these vapours is OK for our health.

Here are some things we do know:
• Many e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which we know is harmful to hearing health
• A study this year from Yale found that some newer vape juices contain much higher levels of nicotine than older products
• It has also been found that there in some cases there is more nicotine present in the cartridge than is specified on the label
• Even if someone chooses a nicotine-free option, the vape juice which gives the e-cigarette its flavour contains a mixture of flavourings, colourings and other unknown chemicals which are not always specified, making it impossible to know if they are safe
• Scientists studying vaping products say that every day they are learning of new and unregulated substances being put into vaping products
• The problem is particularly worrying since so many young people are taking up vaping, with manufacturers clearly targeting young people with sweet-flavoured juices

If you vape and find that you are experiencing ear blockage, changes in ear pressure, hearing loss or tinnitus then stop vaping immediately and give us a call at Thompson Hearing Services. One of our qualified hearing health professionals can offer you a complimentary hearing health check and answer any questions you may have.

If you seek help immediately we may be able to reverse your symptoms, this is important since we know that hearing problems left untreated can become much more serious, even irreversible.