After studying more than 1500 adolescents between the ages of 12 and 19, researchers have found that teens who are exposed to second hand smoke are more at risk of hearing impairment. The findings, published in: Archives of Otolaryngology, are from a study in which participants were given hearing tests and blood tests to determine their exposure to second hand smoke. The results showed that those adolescents who had the highest exposure to second hand smoke showed the greatest signs of hearing loss. Researchers speculate the hearing impairment was due to the lower levels of oxygen reaching the inner ear which is very sensitive to blood flow.
Researchers also feel that this may partially explain the correlation between second hand smoke and behavioural problems in children. If children are hearing impaired they may become easily distracted and have a difficult time learning lessons, and as a consequence may become troublemakers or be misdiagnosed with attention deficit disorder.
Source: Globe & Mail, 07/22/11