964 teens ages 12 to 15 took part in the study which found that 16 percent had been exposed to tobacco smoke prenatally. The teens exposed to smoke were almost three times as likely as those not exposed to smoke prenatally to have one-sided, low-frequency hearing loss, HealthDay reports.
Prenatal smoke exposure led to an average of less than three decibels of hearing impairment, according to the study's lead researcher Dr. Michael Weitzman of the NYU School of Medicine. Weitzman added that this was relatively modest. “[However], an almost three-fold increased odds of unilateral hearing loss in adolescents with prenatal smoke exposure is worrisome,” he wrote in JAMA Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery.
In 2011, a study suggested exposure to secondhand smoke might cause hearing loss in teenagers and many times they do not realize they have hearing difficulties. Mothers should avoid smoking while pregnant at all costs.