The quality of the air we breathe can make all the difference. If you’ve ever dealt with bad air quality, even just visiting somewhere briefly, you know how crummy it can make you feel. From shortness of breath, to general fatigue, to an increase in coughing, you might just know the struggle.

One question you might propose is, “Does air pollution have a negative impact on other areas of our health?” For instance, can breathing bad air also have a negative effect on your hearing? Read on to find out. The results might just surprise you.

Hearing Loss is Higher in Polluted Cities

You might not believe it, but research has found a link between pollution and hearing loss. A 2020 study conducted in Taiwan discovered the overlap when comparing the level of air pollutants in different areas to responses of a health survey on hearing. The areas with worse air had more residents with hearing troubles.

Based on the study, it was concluded that higher levels of nitrogen dioxide or carbon monoxide lead to approximately 1.65 and 1.45 higher risk of hearing loss, respectively.

How Hearing and Bad Air Play Hand-in-Hand

The reason air pollution increases the risk of poor hearing is quite simple. Pollutants and chemicals in the air deprive oxygen from reaching the cells within the inner ear. As a result, this can cause a decline in how the ears pick up sounds. The more those little cells are deprived of their much-needed oxygen, the worse one’s hearing may get.

Getting Help for Hearing Loss

Air quality is a big issue in many regions. It would take years of work from the entire community to get a hold of as many changes would have to be made, including several laws put into effect. So, for those with current hearing loss, a quicker solution would clearly be necessary.

For hearing issues that are caused or exacerbated by air quality, the person with the hearing issue may find relief moving to an area with better air. However, this isn’t feasible for many people, especially in this economy. Sometimes little things like getting an air purifier in your home can make a noticeable difference in your overall health.

For significant or generally bothersome hearing-related problems, it will be critical to get help from a medical professional. Issues like hearing do generally worsen as time goes on. If you’re looking for the perfect hearing bandwidth, it may be time to start looking at hearing aids as a solution for your hearing loss.


It turns out bad air quality has more than just a negative impact on our respiratory system. It can also lead to hearing loss as well. While you don’t have much power to get rid of pollution in your city or town on your own, what is in your power is to move to somewhere else with cleaner air, get control over the air quality inside your home, or get in touch with a medical professional.