Can smoking make you lose your hearing? Relationship between smoking and hearing

Can smoking make you lose your hearing? Relationship between smoking and hearing

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As a smoker, have you ever experienced sudden, dizzy dizziness or tinnitus?  You may be convinced that work or daily fatigue is the cause, but the real cause could be in your cigarettes.

Understanding how the ingredients contained in tobacco affect our brains and bodies is pretty important, especially given that certain effects do not present themselves quickly.  Even if you are a smoker who isn’t looking to give up the habit, staying informed is vital.  This time we will introduce the types of dizziness and tinnitus that are caused by cigarettes.

 

Does smoking cause dizziness?

There are several types of dizziness, but the dizziness caused by smoking cigarettes differs from dizziness like lightheadedness caused by temporary deterioration of blood flow.  It is caused by abnormalities in the brain caused by harmful substances contained in tobacco.

Nicotine, one of the harmful substances contained in tobacco, causes the blood vessels to contract.  When blood flow deteriorates due to nicotine, blood does not circulate sufficiently to the brain.  In addition, carbon monoxide – produced during the cigarette combustion process – binds to hemoglobin in the blood.  Originally, hemoglobin has the role of bringing oxygen to the whole body from the lungs, but if it binds to carbon monoxide, it can not bind with oxygen, which in turn causes oxygen deficiency in the brain.  When these two factors cause brain function to decline markedly, a smoker will perceive a sense of dizziness.  Long-term smoking reduces blood flow and contributes to chronic deficiency in the blood.

 

Can smoking cause ear problems?

smoking hearing loss

Chronic tinnitus may be caused by smoking.  Tinnitus occurs when the flow of blood or lymph is deteriorated.  Similar to dizziness caused by smoking, as blood flow decreases due to nicotine and oxygen deficiency occurs in part to the influence of carbon monoxide, the lack of oxygen causes poor blood flow and at the same time the flow of lymph becomes worse.  At that time, nerves become irritated, in turn causing tinnitus.

If the lymph glands and nerves continue to be stimulated for a long time, abnormality also occurs in the inner ear and central nervous system.  It will eventually become affected even in the semicircular canals in the inner ear, greatly contributing not just to tinnitus but to dizziness as well.  Causes of dizziness due to smoking and tinnitus are common, and not irrelevant symptoms.  Also, if you continue smoking, these symptoms will gradually worsen and permanent hearing loss may result as well.

 

How to deal with “dizziness / tinnitus” caused by smoking

quit smoking hearing loss

The best way to suppress dizziness and tinnitus caused by smoking is to quit smoking.  Given these symptoms are caused by harmful substances in tobacco, going after the root cause is an effective measure to prevent deterioration.

Dizziness and tinnitus can lead to major diseases.  Because dizziness and tinnitus can be caused by stresses other than cigarettes, it is a good idea to consult with a medical professional to be on the safe side.  Gradually reducing the number of cigarettes you smoke over time – rather than going cold turkey at once – can be a convenient way to quit without much of the stress typically associated with quitting smoking.

 

Final word

Smokers who have chronic dizziness or tinnitus really should have a doctor’s examination as soon as possible, as they aren’t symptoms to be messed with.  Left untreated, these can become much worse and even permanent.  If a smoker you know seems to be suffering from the symptoms of dizziness or tinnitus, please let them know there is a possibility these are related to cigarettes.  Also, even if you do not smoke, symptoms may arise due to secondhand smoke, so it is a good idea to ask yourself whether you have something to think about.

 


Can you really quit smoking in a month? 3 tips that may help better your chances

Can you really quit smoking in a month? 3 tips that may help better your chances

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We frequently hear cases where people resolve to quit smoking, but then fall off the wagon after being unable to endure the stress of cessation.

All of us know how hard it can be to give up bad habits.  Especially when they’ve been smoking for years, many smokers will tend to feel more comfortable and relaxed while smoking (and getting their nicotine fix).  When they decide to quit, stress can build up in different ways from a variety of sources: work, home, personal life, life in general.  And then there’s the stress commonly associated with nicotine withdrawal.

Not having cigarettes around as a stress reliever, can make things seem unbearable and just add to the pressure.  This can cause people to feel mentally unstable, increasing mistakes in work, which triggers additional negatives and stress, and then…bam.  Back to smoking.

The cycle of smoking cessation and failure is largely due to a reliance on nicotine. Given that nicotine withdrawal symptoms tend to settle within around a month after quitting, it is said that those first several weeks are pivotal to quit success.  If you can get through that first month, you can increase your chances of putting the habit behind you.

This time we will introduce three recommended habits to survive that first month and win at smoking cessation.

 

1. Recognize the risks of smoking and benefits of quitting

Before giving up smoking and reduce your desire for cigarettes, it is important to first recognize the risks associated with smoking.

The greatest risk of smoking is long-term harm to your health. The consequences of smoking generally aren’t apparent overnight and can take years to manifest.  And when they do present themselves, they can be somewhat innocuous in initial appearance – like your finding yourself pausing for breath halfway up a flight of stairs, or you have a cough that doesn’t seem to go away.  These symptoms will most likely increase in severity over time.  Smoking increases the likelihood of your getting sick.  Smoking also increases the risk of contracting a number of diseases and can also lead to cancer, peptic ulcer, aortic aneurysm, abdominal aortic aneurysm, ischemic heart disease, stroke, COPD, and a number of others.

There is also data from the World Health Organization showing that nonsmokers and smokers have a big difference in life span.  The ways that smokers die are quite unpleasant as well.  Reading some of the experiences of long-term smoking patients who have suffered from lung cancer, can provide a fair amount of food for thought.  In nearly all cases, the patients express regret that they had not quit smoking sooner, and that their loved ones must deal with the consequences of their smoking habit.  Although reading and listening to these experiences can be pretty heavy and depressing, it is important that you recognize the choice in front of you – literally choosing life or choosing a slow and miserable death.

So how about the benefits of quitting smoking?  There are the simple ones that come to mind: saving money; not having to worry about carrying that smoke smell around with you; stabilizing or improving your health condition.  And then there are the softer benefits as well, like recovering your dignity and not feeling like such a slave to tobacco, and being able to enjoy a longer, healthier time with loved ones.

Creating a positive image of life after smoking is important.  Doing this can help make the initial challenges of smoking cessation more bearable and help maintain your motivation.

 

2. When you want to smoke, plan to do something elseeasy simple steps to quit smoking

Easing – even just a little – that demonic desire to smoke is vital to your success in quitting.  Switching up your behavior pattern can be key.  Before you quit, pay more attention to when you want to smoke.  Is it before/after meals?  When you wake up in the morning?  Also consider things that trigger you to smoke – like when you are bored, when you’re outside with friends, or when you get a cup of coffee.

After taking note of these patterns, when you plan your quit, consider what you can do instead of smoking.  For instance the following might be helpful when you get that urge:

  • chewing mint gum
  • drinking carbonated water or tea
  • eating sunflower seeds or almonds
  • going for a walk
  • doing intense exercise, such as going for a jog or swimming
  • you can also consider giving yourself small rewards when are tempted to smoke, but don’t

A key point is to find a replacement method that suits you, your personality and your lifestyle.  If you feel stressed in a way that does not fit, your desire to smoke cigarettes becomes stronger, which makes it more likely to fail at quitting smoking as a result.  If you find a replacement method that suits yourself before you begin smoking cessation, you will have a better margin for success.  It can be said that doing things at your own pace is a shortcut to quitting smoking.

 

3. Find a quit group to help support your decision

how to stop smoking with friends

As with any habit you’re looking to change, having supportive people around you will help boost your motivation and maintain your momentum.  You don’t have to go at things alone.  If you have friends who are working together with the same intention, you can encourage them even if they are going to be frustrated – and likewise, they can help keep you focused on your resolve as well.

By starting your non-smoking life with familiar people such as family members and friends, you can keep your decision heading in the right direction: “although withdrawal symptoms were strong today, they helped pull me through.”  We all face times of weakness, and being able to have someone else there can help prevent you from lapsing back to smoking.

Even if you don’t have anyone close to you who is looking to quit smoking, there are many resources available to people who want to quit.  From Facebook to Reddit, there are a number of quit groups and bulletin boards online.  Doing a quick net search will also reveal a number of quit groups that offer weekly in-person meetings.  And there are also a number of free counseling opportunities available as well. If you are going to start quitting earnestly, it would be a good idea to make friends for smoking cessation.

 

Final word

Smoking cessation can be continued without a lot of headache if you stand firmly to the three points above.  Since the desire to smoke cigarettes does not last forever, it is something you can overcome with time.  Let’s take a step forward for smoking cessation.

 


What is smoking cessation counseling? Tips on locating a professional

What is smoking cessation counseling? Tips on locating a professional

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Over the past several years, more and more smoking cessation programs and clinics have sprung up.

Some smokers have asked us whether they can simply quit with our product, Rien Pipe, or whether they need additional treatment in order to quit smoking.  Others have asked whether they can use Rien Pipe in conjunction with a cessation program (short answer: absolutely) and have wondered what these kinds of programs might entail.  In many cases, people are wondering about the cost of smoking cessation programs, whether they’re really effective.  These folks may be hesitating to stop smoking due solely to an imagined hurdle that seeing a professional may be expensive.  This time we’ll introduce the benefits of visiting a cessation outpatient clinic, the period and cost of smoking cessation.

 

Benefits of joining a smoking cessation program

how to choose cessation therapy clinic

Generally speaking, there are many people who are frustrated with their smoking habit and who take steps to quit, but for various reasons cannot continue quitting under their own power.  However, it seems that about 80% of people who received cessation-related counseling were ultimately able to succeed in quitting smoking.

By joining a cessation program or getting cessation counseling, you not only increase your chances of quitting, but also increase your likelihood of staying quit long-term.  The professionals running such programs can help you quit smoking in a manner that suits you.  In addition, by periodically checking in with your quit coach, you can help maintain your motivation.  It is quite encouraging to have someone with experience who supports you and your smoke-free goal.

In these programs, the doctor or counselor may recommend a medication or nicotine replacement treatment (NRT) to help combat your smoking addiction.  One of the merits of cessation programs is to get appropriate advice from a trained professional who has helped others quit in the past.

Rien Pipe represents a rather new approach to quitting smoking and, as of this writing, many cessation counselors are likely unfamiliar with its benefits.  Since Rien Pipe is a non-pharmaceutical approach to quitting smoking, it can best be utilized in combination with counseling that revolves around techniques you can use to modify your behavior.  If you would like assistance in explaining how Rien Pipe functions, please get in touch with us.

 

Does insurance cover smoking cessation?

schedule your quit smoking date time

Short answer: in most cases – even if you are uninsured – there is likely some kind of free treatment program available to help you quit smoking.  The extent to which health insurance covers cessation treatment depends on the state and on the insurance company involved.

If you live in the United States, the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) included smoking cessation therapy (including medication) as a free preventive service on all non-grandfathered plans sold since September 23, 2010.  (And actually, if you are a smoker, your insurance provider may be charging you up to 50% more for your smoking status.)  Generally you are considered a smoker if you have used tobacco 4 or more days a week for the past 6 months.  And if you have a different insurance provider, it’s worth giving them a call or having a look at their website to understand what kind of assistance they provide.

In other countries, the system can be quite different.  Some will only support up to 4 quit attempts per year and will only provide a certain number of nicotine patches or telephone support.  Others will require that you agree in writing that you will join a cessation program and outline your reasons why you intend to quit.  The good thing is that many countries have a national quit smoking hotline that you can call for advice.  Some of these are listed below.

Australia
Web: www.quitnow.gov.au
Phone: 13 7848

Canada
Web: www.smokershelpline.ca
Phone: 1-877-513-5333

UK
Web: www.nhs.uk/smokefree
Phone: 0300 123 1044

USA
Web: www.Smokefree.gov
Phone: 1-800-784-8669

 

How much do smoking cessation programs cost?

Depending on individual circumstances, most cessation programs will have a base option that is offered for free, with additional paid options available.  For instance, this may consist of 4 telephone counseling sessions (once per week for 4 weeks) or in-person outpatient visits.  Generally, paid programs tend to run 8 to 12 weeks (2-3 months), include a certain number of subsidized NRT and cost between $100-200.  There are also a number of ongoing smoking studies and clinical trials that people interested in quitting smoking can consider as well.

When you consider how much you spend on cigarettes, you’ll probably find that even the short-term cost of smoking is more expensive than the treatment options available.  And when you weigh the long-term consequences of smoking (e.g. hospitalization for heart attacks, cancer treatment, surgeries and the like), investing in quitting is well worth the challenge.

 

Final word

This time, we noted certain details about the period, cost, benefits, etc. involved in smoking cessation clinics. There are many forms of cessation programs, some focusing on one-on-one treatment while others involving group counseling.  Generally, cessation counseling used in conjunction with a cessation aid, such as Rien Pipe, may dramatically raise your chances of quitting and staying quit.  If you are seriously considering quitting smoking, act today: call your state or national quit line, or insurance provider, and take that step toward finally becoming a non-smoker.

 


Just how bad is tar in cigarettes for your lungs?

Just how bad is tar in cigarettes for your lungs?

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We sometimes see it listed on cigarette packages and in brand communication: tar.

When cigarettes are “low-tar,” many smokers somehow feel relieved that their brand choice is perhaps in some way less-lethal than other brands.  But what exactly is tar, and why does it matter to smokers?  Here we’ll discuss what tar is and its effect on the body.

 

What is tar?

Among what are considered to be the more harmful substances contained in cigarettes are nicotine, tar and carbon monoxide. Contrary to the image it might bring to mind, the tar in cigarettes is not the same as the tar with which roads are paved.  Cigarette tar is formed when the tobacco plant and other substances in cigarettes are burned while smoking.  Around 5mg to 15mg worth of tar is contained in tobacco.  This substance often appears as a sticky brown resin around the cigarette filter and is actually quite toxic, containing over 200 different harmful substances that can have a bad effect on the body.

 

What is the effect of tar on the body

tar in tobacco cigarette smoke

Tar has several effects on the body, some of which are quite obvious visually.  For instance, over time smokers’ teeth become discolored by tar, turning brown or yellow.  This happens because tar particles are sticky and can readily adhere to teeth over time.

Given tar’s sticky property, it causes a number of health issues as it is inhaled.  Although the process tends to take time to perceive more readily, tar will gradually cling to and coat lung tissue.  This is often seen in photos comparing smokers’ lungs versus non-smokers’ lungs: smokers’ lungs tend to become grey to black over time, whereas non-smokers’ lungs are pink and clean.  As you can imagine, tar-coated lungs are not efficient at absorbing oxygen. As tar is an irritant that contains toxic particles, its presence in the lungs in fact can cause additional respiratory-related diseases.

Since tar is contained in cigarette smoke, it not only affects smokers directly but also the non-smokers around them who inhale the secondhand smoke.  As a result, cigarette smoke threatens the health of others without a smoker necessarily being conscious of it.  Tobacco tar also contains a number of carcinogenic substances that build up over time.  It is believed that smoking increases the risk of disease, as these substances have the ability to alter ordinary cells and cause malignant tumors.

 

How to avoid tarring into tears

tar copd disease smoking

Some smokers, who are aware of the dangers of tar, will specifically select cigarette brands that have as low a tar concentration as possible, so as to limit the intake of this toxin.  Many low-tar cigarettes will generally have a thicker filter and more air-holes to aid in the dilution of tar before it is inhaled.  Nevertheless, smoking even 1mg tar cigarettes will still yield similar health consequences as higher-tar cigarettes, even if symptoms may take a somewhat longer time to develop.  There is no way of eliminating this risk altogether with standard cigarettes.

When smoking a cigarette, some smokers will attempt to get a stronger drag and may chew on the cigarette filter somewhat in the process.  Actually, biting or chewing on the filter is not particularly good: it can have the effect of blocking ventilation openings and restrict the air flow even more.

If you smoke heavier cigarettes and are considering low-tar cigarettes, you can indeed reduce the amount of tar that enters your body – especially if you smoke lightly and try to stick to  the same number of cigarettes you smoked with the higher-tar brand.  Even if you are not fully considering quitting smoking at the moment, stepping down the a lower-tar brand may help limit the large number of toxins from entering your lungs and help prepare you ahead of a quit.

 

Final word

Tobacco contains a number of harmful substances, of which tar is a particularly bad one.  Inhaling tar not only affects a smoker directly, but has a negative health impact on the people surrounding them.  For your health and for that of others around you, it is recommended that if you do wish to smoke, that you at least consider switching to a low-tar (e.g. 1mg tar) variety.

 


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