Vaping is the act of inhaling vapor produced by Vape equipment called e-cigarettes. Unlike traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes do not produce tar, so they are generally considered less harmful.
Despite this, vaping can still be hazardous to our health as e-cigarettes contain other harmful chemicals such as nicotine and flavoring. One health hazard that vaping can produce is damage to the user’s hearing abilities.
Continue reading below for more information why vaping might cause hearing disabilities.
Nicotine and Its Harmful Effects
As stated previously, e-cigarettes still contain a harmful chemical known as nicotine. One harmful effect of consuming nicotine is that it tightens the blood vessel of a person. This tightening includes the blood vessels on the ears and restricts blood’s proper flow onto our ear cells.
Since blood provides oxygen to cells, this restriction results in damage to the auditory hair cells. The damage can cause a decrease in an individual’s hearing sensitivity. Furthermore, since hair cells are not able to regenerate, this damage is permanent.
Although e-cigarettes offer nicotine-free options, it still has other components that can damage hearing and lead to hearing loss. One such component is vape juice.
The Bitter Truth Behind the Sweet Vape Juice
Vape juice is the liquid that is heated by an e-cigarette to produce the vapor that vapers inhale. It comes in different flavors, often inspired by different sweets and fruits. They usually contain a mixture of water, flavorings, and a myriad of chemicals.
One of the prominent chemicals in vape juice is propylene glycol. Although propylene glycol is considered safe in moderate amounts, the accumulation of high amounts of this chemical can damage the middle ear. Damage to the middle ear can result in infections on that area of the ear and lead to hearing loss.
Aside from propylene glycol, some unregulated vape juices can also contain other harmful chemicals to our auditory hair cells. Furthermore, some vape juices have been found to contain trace elements such as lead and cadmium. Exposure to these two elements is harmful to our auditory system and could eventually lead to hearing loss.
Although most people consider vaping to be a less harmful alternative to smoking, it still has the possibility to be hazardous to the user’s health. One area of health that vaping can negatively affect is hearing. Even if vapes don’t contain tar-like traditional cigarettes, some still contain nicotine which is very unhealthy.
Nicotine is known to restrict blood flow in the ears, which causes damage to auditory hair cells. The damage to them could lead to permanent hearing disability and even hearing loss. Aside from nicotine, vape juices also contain propylene glycol. This is a chemical that can be harmful to the ears in large amounts.
If you experience signs of hearing loss while vaping, it is essential to consult an audiologist immediately and discontinue the use of vapes/e-cigarettes. Do not wait until the issue becomes worse to avoid permanent hearing damage.