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J Am Acad Audiol. 2007 Sep;18(8):665-74.

Effects of cigarette smoking on distortion product otoacoustic emissions.

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Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, Western Michigan University, 1903 West Michigan Avenue, Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5355, USA.


This study measured distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs) and DPOAE input/output (I/O) curves to assess the effects of smoking on cochlear function. Twenty-four healthy adults, 12 smokers and 12 nonsmokers in the 20-30 years age range were selected based on self-reported histories of five to eight years of smoking or no smoking, respectively. All subjects received tympanometric screening to rule out middle ear pathology. Conventional (0.25-8 kHz) and ultra high frequency (UHF; 10-20 kHz) audiometry showed normal or age-appropriate thresholds across both groups. DPOAE results showed small, but significant, decline in DPOAE levels without concomitant changes in noise floors in smokers as compared to nonsmokers. I/O detection thresholds were also significantly elevated at high frequencies in smokers as compared to their nonsmoking counterparts. These findings indicate that smokers are at greater risk for cochlear damage than nonsmokers, and that DPOAE amplitudes and I/O detection thresholds may identify early changes in cochlear function in smokers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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