How Does Smoking Affect Tinnitus and What to Do About It


Tinnitus can be caused due to a myriad of reasons, and most of them are lifestyle-related factors that you can cut down or completely eradicate from your life. These factors include caffeine, excessive sugar uptake, and smoking.

Smoking can be harmful to you and also hurt those around you. For most people, it can be a hard habit to quit. But when tinnitus disrupts your daily routine and makes it hard for you to focus on important tasks, quitting smoking can make a significant difference in your tinnitus symptoms.

Many chemicals are present in cigarettes, and any one of them may be harmful to your tinnitus condition and affect your hearing. While smoking may not be the direct cause of tinnitus, it is a contributing factor.

Interference with Neurotransmitters

Smoking and tinnitus may not be directly related, but smoking is one of the many contributing factors for tinnitus. One of the results of regular smoking is its effect on your neurotransmitters.

Smoking can hinder the transmissions that your neurotransmitters (located in the auditory nerve) to the brain. When these signals are either slow or miscommunicated to the brain, it can cause tinnitus symptoms.

While you would need to be a regular or heavy smoker to see the immediate effects of not smoking on your tinnitus symptoms, sometimes even cutting down one cigarette a day can have an impact on tinnitus.

Cell Damage

The chemicals that are present in cigarettes are extremely harmful to your body and mind. They can cause inflammation and cell damage in the short term and more severe consequences, such as cancer if you continue to smoke.

The cell damage caused by smoking can also affect your auditory functions and cause you to hear a faint ringing, which is an indicator of tinnitus. Nicotine may also act as a stimulant that can make noises louder in your ear, which can also aggravate your tinnitus condition.

What You Can Do

Quitting smoking is not a decision that can be made lightly because many smokers become incredibly habitual and dependent on nicotine.

You can opt to use nicotine patches or other alternatives when you’re in the process of quitting cigarettes. You can also do it in phases: you can reduce your intake by one cigarette in the first month or two, make it two later, and so on as your body gets more comfortable with the absence of nicotine.

Why Smoking and Tinnitus Go Hand in Hand

If you suffer from tinnitus but do not smoke, your symptoms may be triggered by second-hand smoke. You are more likely to develop and retain tinnitus if you live with a regular smoker.

In these cases, the obvious way to get relief from tinnitus is to minimize your contact with anyone who smokes frequently. Smoking and tinnitus have no direct relation, but smoking is the underlying cause for other conditions, and it triggers tinnitus symptoms in some patients.

Various studies and reports show that long-term smoking can cause lung cancer, oral cancer, kidney and liver problems, high blood pressure, along with other conditions.

So, to live a healthier and tinnitus-free life, the best route is to quit smoking completely or reduce it significantly.