It is estimated that at least 50% of adolescents are exposed to second hand smoke. A recently completed medical study by the New York University School of Medicine found that a significant percentage of adolescents are experiencing hearing loss because of their exposure to the smoke.
The extent of their exposure to second hand smoke can be measured by determining the levels of continine, a nicotine derivative in the blood.
Though the hearing loss occurred throughout all frequencies, it was most affected in the mid-range speech frequencies, which can impair learning.
The level of hearing loss increased as the continine blood levels increased. Therefore, it is very important for parents to limit their children’s exposure to second hand smoke, as much as possible.
The authors pointed out that this type of hearing loss is not something the children would notice on their own, without testing.
Curt Hendrix, M.S., C.C.N., C.N.S.