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Can Smoking Cause Ear Infections In Babies

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What Are Some Things You Can Do To Help Prevent Your Child From Getting An Ear Infection

What causes ear infections in children?

You are washing your hands often, keeping your home smoke-free, avoiding close contact with sick people, and using a humidifier in your home. If you notice any of these signs in your baby, it is essential to take her to the doctor as soon as possible. The sooner you can get a diagnosis and start treatment, the better. Ear infections can often be treated with antibiotics but may require further medical intervention if left untreated.

When Do Children Need Tubes In Their Ears

If your child has frequent ear infections, or if he has trouble hearing because of ongoing fluid in the middle ear, he may need a tube inserted through the ear drum and into the middle ear. The tube helps to keep air pressure normal on both sides of the ear drum and helps fluid drain from the middle ear.

Putting tubes in requires a brief operation by an ear, nose and throat surgeon. Children usually go home the same day.

Effects In Pregnant Women

If youre pregnant, thirdhand smoke exposure can also affect your unborn baby. Whether you breathe in or touch surfaces with chemical residue, youre at risk of taking in toxins from the smoke into your bloodstream. This can then transfer over to the fetus.

A small study examined the effects of thirdhand smoke exposure on fetal rat lung tissue. It found that certain toxins in cigarette smoke adversely affected lung development.

A babys exposure to thirdhand smoke can also lead to respiratory illnesses after birth. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, smoking during pregnancy also increases the risk of SIDS.

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What Are Some Of The Long

Most children who are treated for ear infections will make a full recovery and will not experience any long-term effects. However, some children may experience hearing loss or other complications due to their condition. Therefore, it is essential to take your child to the doctor as soon as you notice any signs or symptoms of an ear infection so that proper treatment can be started. Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial to preventing complications from ear infections.

If you have any further questions about how to tell if the baby has an ear infection, or if you would like more information about the signs and symptoms of this condition, please speak with your doctor.

Houston Sinus & Allergy: Ear Nose And Throat Experts

What are the Effects of Second Hand Smoke on Children?

Do you suffer from frequent ear infections due to cigarette smoke? Contact Houston Sinus & Allergy today.

Houston Sinus & Allergy specializes in treating nasal and sinus conditions and providing allergy care. Our practice is committed to helping you find long term relief from your symptoms. Dr. Nguyen is a Board Certified ENT Head and Neck Surgeon with extensive training & experience in diseases of the ears, nose & throat.

Click here to book an assessment, or call us at the number posted at the top of the page.

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How Can I Prevent My Child From Getting An Ear Infection

  • Wash your childs hands and your own often to reduce the chance of catching a cold.
  • Breastfeed your baby.
  • Avoid bottle-feeding your baby when they are lying down. Never put your baby to bed with a bottle.
  • Transition your baby from a bottle to a cup by 1 year of age.
  • Dont use a pacifier too often.
  • Dont smoke, and keep your child away from any secondhand smoke. Exposure to smoke can increase the risk of ear infections.
  • Ensure your child gets the pneumococcal vaccine .
  • Ensure your child gets a flu shot every year.

Can Ear Tubes Help

If your child experiences frequent or chronic ear infections, your pediatrician may discuss ear tubes with you. Ear tubes are tiny tubes that are surgically placed into your childs eardrums to drain fluid and prevent blockages. Ear tubes can provide immediate relief for little ones who regularly experience painful ear infections. Talk with your pediatrician and a pediatric ear, nose, and throat doctor to see whether ear tubes are right for your child.

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Ear Infection Signs And Symptoms

The telltale sign of an ear infection is pain in and around the ear. Young children can develop ear infections before they are old enough to talk. That means parents are often left guessing why their child appears to be suffering. When your child can’t say “my ear hurts,” the following signs suggest an ear infection could be the culprit:

  • Tugging or pulling the ear
  • Crying and irritability
  • Fever, especially in younger children
  • Fluid draining from the ear
  • Loss of balance
  • Difficulty hearing or responding to auditory cues

Signs that require immediate attention include high fever, severe pain, or bloody or pus-like discharge from the ears.

Johns Hopkins Pediatric Otolaryngology

Our pediatric otolaryngologists are committed to providing compassionate and comprehensive care for children with ear, nose, and throat conditions. As part of the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, you have access to all the specialized resources of a children’s hospital. Your child will also benefit from experts who use advanced techniques to treat both common and rare conditions.

Signs Your Baby Has An Ear Infection

Antibiotic Awareness: Ear Infection or Acute Otitis Media

The most common signs that your baby has an ear infection are:


-Rubbing or pulling at the ear

-Fluid drainage from the ear

-Hearing loss

If you notice any of these signs, you must take your baby to the doctor as soon as possible. The sooner you can get a diagnosis and start treatment, the better. Ear infections can often be treated with antibiotics, but sometimes your child may need to be seen by an ENT specialist. If you suspect your baby has an ear infection, dont wait to get help.

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What Should I Do If My Child Gets Ear Infections

If you notice any of the following signs in your baby, it is essential to take her to the doctor as soon as possible:


-Rubbing or pulling at the ear

-Fluid drainage from the ear

-Hearing loss

These are the most common signs that your baby has an ear infection. A diagnosis can be made through a physical examination by a doctor and sometimes requires further testing, such as a hearing test, to confirm. Treatment usually consists of antibiotics but may require additional medical intervention if left untreated. Early diagnosis and treatment are key to preventing complications from ear infections.

How Can Ear Infections Be Prevented

There are some things you can do to help reduce your childs risk of developing ear infections:

-Breastfeed your baby if possible

-Avoid exposure to secondhand smoke

-Use a humidifier in your home

-Make sure your child gets all of her vaccinations on schedule

These measures can help lower your childs ear infection risk. However, even if you take all of these precautions, there is still a chance that your child could develop an ear infection. Therefore, it is essential to be aware of the signs and symptoms so that you can seek medical treatment as soon as possible.

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Baby Ear Infection: Causes Symptoms Treatment

Your baby has been battling a cold. Now theyre tugging at their ears and acting fussy. Last night they didnt sleep so well, either. Of course, they cant tell you what is wrong, but you cant help thinking they might have an ear infection. Could it be true? If so, how serious are ear infections in babies? And what should you do next?

The good news is that ear infections are very common among children under the age of two, and they are also generally very treatable.

Lets take a look at how ear infections affect babies, what causes them, what symptoms to look for, when you should take your baby to the doctor, how to prevent them in the first placeand most importantly, what can be done so that your little one feels better.

Secondhand Smoke And Children on Twitter: " Children who breathe in secondhand smoke can have ...

Secondhand smoke is a combination of the smoke from a burning cigarette and the smoke exhaled by a smoker. It contaminates the air and is collected in clothing, hair, curtains, and furniture. Many people find secondhand smoke unpleasant, annoying, and irritating to the eyes and nose. More importantly, it represents a dangerous health hazard. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , tobacco smoke contains a deadly mix of more than 7,000 chemicals, hundreds of which are toxic, and about 70 can cause cancer.

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When To Call The Doctor For Babys Ear Infection

Consult your doctor if you notice the following signs in your baby .

  • Symptoms persist beyond three days.
  • Infection occurs frequently neither the antibiotics nor the OTC medications seem to treat the infection.
  • The baby is fussy and is expressing signs of severe pain.
  • The ear infection is in a baby below six months of age.
  • Pus discharge or bloody fluid secretion from the ears.
  • A foul odor emanating from the babys ears.
  • You notice symptoms such as loss of balance, impaired response, stiff neck, or fever.

Children’s Chronic Ear Infection

Some youngsters, however, appear to have ear infections much more frequently than others. Infections may linger for a long time or recur suddenly. When an infection persists despite standard therapy, it is called a recurrent infection.

Chronic otitis media is the most common cause of a persistent ear infection in children. A build-up of fluid in the inner ear is a common cause of persistent ear issues in youngsters. This fluid isn’t draining adequately through the Eustachian tube. This frequently occurs as a result of an infection that isn’t responding to standard therapies. Fluid can sometimes remain in the middle ear or return after the infection has cleared up, causing symptoms to persist.

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Secondhand Smoke Causes Lung Cancer

Secondhand smoke causes lung cancer in adults who have never smoked.4

  • Nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke at home or at work increase their risk of developing lung cancer by 2030%.2
  • Secondhand smoke causes more than 7,300 lung cancer deaths among U.S. nonsmokers each year.4
  • Nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke are inhaling many of the same cancer-causing substances and poisons as smokers.2,3,4
  • Even brief secondhand smoke exposure can damage cells in ways that set the cancer process in motion.4
  • As with active smoking, the longer the duration and the higher the level of exposure to secondhand smoke, the greater the risk of developing lung cancer.4

How To Prevent Ear Infections In Babies And Toddlers

Why Does My Child Keep Getting Ear Infections?

There are a few ways you can get ahead of your childâs chance of getting ear infections:

  • Breastfeeding your baby. Since breast milk contains antibodies, itâs been known to promote a lower rate of ear infections in breastfed babies compared to formula-fed babies

  • Always bottle-feeding your baby in an upright position. Feed your baby so their head is above the level of the stomach to prevent the Eustachian tubes from getting blocked by the fluid

  • Not smoking around your child

  • Ensuring your child has received their latest vaccinations

  • Practicing good hygiene, like frequent handwashing

  • Providing your child nutritious meals.

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How To Relieve Ear Infection Pain

With an effective antibiotic, your child can start experiencing relief from ear infection discomfort after just one dose. You can help make them comfortable while the antibiotics are at work by taking the following steps.

  • Pain relief: Choose your pain reliever of choice and use it to keep inflammation down and keep the pain in check.
  • Keep your baby hydrated: Your child may not be interested in eating or drinking because swallowing may be uncomfortable. If they become dehydrated, though, it will only add to discomfort and lengthen recovery time. Depending upon your childs age, you might try giving a popsicle children seldom refuse them!
  • Indulge them: Go ahead and let your little one snuggle up to you and soak up some cuddles. When it comes down to it, you cant hurry up the healing process but some quality time doing your childs favorite things might make the time pass more quickly.

Acetaminophen or ibuprofen are what I most commonly recommend for pain relief. Some of my parents ask me about using warm oil drops , but I do not recommend this, especially if there is a potential eardrum perforation. In the past, benzocaine ear drops were prescribed by doctors to numb ear pain. They are no longer recommended .

Editor’s Note:

Effects Of Secondhand Smoke

Secondhand smoke is made up of the smoke that comes from a cigarette and the smoke that is breathed out by a smoker. Secondhand smoke has more than 50 chemicals that are known to cause cancer in adults. Because babies and young children are still growing, the chemicals in secondhand smoke harm them more than adults. Breathing secondhand smoke for even a short time can harm your babys or childs body. Over time, secondhand smoke can cause disease and possibly death in children.

Remember, there is no safe amount of secondhand smoke.

Babies and young children exposed to secondhand smoke can have:

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New Warning On Secondhand Smoke

The Surgeon General released new evidence this year-July 2006-supporting the fact that secondhand smoke, smoke from a burning cigarette and the smoke exhaled by the smoker, represents a dangerous health hazard.

The new report states that there is no risk-free level of secondhand smoke exposure. Although secondhand smoke is dangerous to everyone, fetuses, infants, and children are at most risk. Even brief exposures can be harmful to children. This is because secondhand smoke can damage developing organs, such as the lungs and brain.

Medical Treatment In Children

Supporting Success For Children With Hearing Loss

Doctors often take a wait-and-see approach when treating ear infections in children to avoid over-prescribing antibiotics, which can lead to antibiotic resistance.

A doctor may sometimes write you a prescription for antibiotics if symptoms are severe or dont resolve within 2 to 3 days. Alternatively, they may write you a prescription but recommend waiting first to see if your childs symptoms get better after 2 to 3 days.

Its important to finish your entire prescription. Often, a 7- or 10-day prescription of amoxicillin is prescribed.

You shouldnt give children aspirin without their doctors instruction. Aspirin is a preventable risk factor for developing Reyes syndrome, a rare disorder that causes brain and liver damage.

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Secondhand Smoke Causes Cardiovascular Disease

Exposure to secondhand smoke has immediate adverse effects on the cardiovascular system and can cause coronary heart disease and stroke.2,4,5

  • Secondhand smoke causes nearly 34,000 premature deaths from heart disease each year in the United States among nonsmokers.4
  • Nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke at home or at work increase their risk of developing heart disease by 2530%.1
  • Secondhand smoke increases the risk for stroke by 2030%.4
  • Secondhand smoke exposure causes more than 8,000 deaths from stroke annually.4

Breathing secondhand smoke can have immediate adverse effects on your blood and blood vessels, increasing the risk of having a heart attack.2,3,4

  • Breathing secondhand smoke interferes with the normal functioning of the heart, blood, and vascular systems in ways that increase the risk of having a heart attack.
  • Even brief exposure to secondhand smoke can damage the lining of blood vessels and cause your blood platelets to become stickier. These changes can cause a deadly heart attack.

People who already have heart disease are at especially high risk of suffering adverse effects from breathing secondhand smoke and should take special precautions to avoid even brief exposures.1

How Is Chronic Ear Infection Treated In Children

If your child has recurrent ear infections, you should consult pediatric ENT to determine if there is a cause. Chronic otitis media can be caused by an infection or a blockage in the Eustachian tubes, which should be checked by a doctor. Antibiotics can assist with persistent bacterial infections, but if your kid has a chronic condition, further treatments such as grommets may be required. If the Eustachian tubes aren’t operating properly, grommets might be put into the ear drum to provide another drainage route for the middle ear. Getting rid of your child’s recurring ear infections can have a significant impact on their health and well-being. For consultation see us at OKOA.

**Disclaimer: The information on this page is not intended to be a doctor’s advice, nor does it create any form of patient-doctor relationship.

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Kids Who Live With Smokers Have More Ear Infections

By Genevra Pittman, Reuters Health

4 Min Read

NEW YORK – Kids whose parents smoke are more likely to get ear infections and have hearing problems, according to a new review paper.

A man smokes next to a “No Smoking” sign in downtown Shanghai April 27, 2011. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

When moms lit up, kids were also almost twice as likely to need surgery for recurrent ear infections or similar problems, researchers reported.

The findings come from a combination of 61 past studies. While they cant prove that smoke exposure causes ear infections, researchers suggested that if thats the case, hundreds of thousands of ear infections may be due to parents smoking each year.

Its pretty impressive, especially since ear infections cause enormous pain, said Dr. Michael Weitzman, who studies the effects of parental smoking at New York University Medical Center and was not involved in the study.

The new paper once again highlights a common child health problem that is profoundly influenced by mothers smoking, he told Reuters Health, and it focuses our attention more than previous studies have on it resulting in surgical procedures for children.

Taken together, the studies showed that kids living with a smoker had a 37 percent higher risk of any middle ear disease, including ear infections and hearing problems — and a 62 percent higher risk if the household smoker was their mom.

About three out of four kids have had an ear infection by the time they are three years old.

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