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Does Second Hand Smoke Cause Ear Infections

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Secondhand Smoke Causes Cancer

Middle Ear Infection (Acute Otitis Media) | Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment

You have read how ETS harms the development of your child, but did you know that your risk of developing cancer from ETS is about 100 times greater than from outdoor cancer-causing pollutants? Did you know that ETS causes more than 3,000 non-smokers to die of lung cancer each year? While these facts are alarming for everyone, you can stop your childs exposure to secondhand smoke right now.

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.

Secondhand Smoke Causes Other Diseases And Death

Secondhand smoke can also be harmful in other ways. For instance, breathing secondhand smoke affects the heart and blood vessels, which increases the risk of having a heart attack. Exposure to secondhand smoke increases the risk of developing and dying from heart disease. It also increases the risk of having a stroke.

Secondhand smoke and your childrens health

Young children are most affected by SHS and least able to avoid it. Most of their exposure to SHS comes from adults smoking at home. Studies show that children whose parents smoke:

  • Get sick more often
  • Have more lung infections
  • Are more likely to cough, wheeze, and have shortness of breath
  • Get more ear infections

Secondhand smoke can also trigger asthma attacks or make asthma symptoms worse.

Some of these problems might seem small, but they can add up quickly. Think of the expenses, doctor visits, medicines, lost school time, and often lost work time for the parent who must stay home with a sick child. And this doesnt include the discomforts that the child goes through.

In very young children, SHS also increases the risk for more serious problems, including sudden infant death syndrome .

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How Can I Quit Smoking

  • Discuss quitting with your doctor. Decide when youll quit and prepare for that day.
  • Discard all cigarettes, lighters and ashtrays.
  • Avoid all situations that may trigger your desire to smoke. For example, if you always have a cigarette after a meal, get up and take a walk instead or immediately begin to clear the table, etc.
  • Whenever you get the urge to smoke, take a deep breath and hold it for five to ten seconds.
  • Dont let others smoke in your home.
  • Keep finger foods, like carrot sticks, handy. Or, chew gum when you get the urge to smoke.
  • Stay active to keep your mind off smoking. Go for walks or read a book.
  • Join a support group or smoking cessation class.
  • Talk to your doctor about nicotine replacement aids that can help when you are trying to quit.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 04/30/2021.


Effects In Pregnant Women

Passive smoking can harm your loved ones!

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 About Thirdhand Smoke

Learn about the American Lung Association’s programs to help you or a loved one quit smoking, and join our advocacy efforts to reduce tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke. Visit or call the Lung HelpLine at 1-800-LUNGUSA .

  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General. 2014.

  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General. 2006.

  • Institute of Medicine. Secondhand Smoke Exposure and Cardiovascular Effects: Making Sense of the Evidence. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. 2009.

  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Report on Carcinogens, Tenth Edition 2002. National Toxicology Program.

  • National Cancer Institute. Population Based Smoking Cessation: Proceedings of a Conference on What Works to Influence Cessation in the General Population, Smoking and Tobacco Control Monograph 12. NIH Pub. 00-4892, Nov. 2000.

  • National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety. Environmental and Biological Assessment of Environmental Tobacco Smoke among Casino Dealers, May 2009.

  • California Environmental Protection Agency. Identification of Environmental Tobacco Smoke as a Toxic Air Contaminant. Executive Summary. June 2005.

  • Zhou W, Heist RS, Liu G, et al. Secondhand smoke exposure and survival in early-stage non-small cell lung cancer patients. Clin Cancer Res 2006 12:718793.

  • How Does Smoking Affect Hearing

    Both nicotine and carbon monoxide lower oxygen blood levels and constrict blood vessels all over your bodyincluding those in your inner ear responsible for maintaining hair cell health. Also nicotine and cigarette smoke are thought to:

    • interfere with neurotransmitters in the auditory nerve, which are responsible for telling the brain which sound you are hearing.
    • irritate the Eustachian tube and lining of the middle ear.
    • trigger the release of free radicals that can damage DNA and cause disease.
    • make you more sensitive to loud noises and therefore more susceptible to developing noise-induced hearing loss.

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    How Does Tobacco Smoke Trigger Asthma

    When a person inhales tobacco smoke, irritating substances settle in the moist lining of the airways. These substances can cause an attack in a person who has asthma.

    In addition, tobacco smoke damages tiny hair-like structures in the airways called cilia. Normally, cilia sweep dust and mucus out of the airways. Tobacco smoke damages cilia so they are unable to work, allowing dust and mucus to accumulate in the airways.

    Smoke also causes the lungs to make more mucus than normal. As a result, even more mucus can build up in the airways, triggering an attack.

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    What Should I Do If My Child Gets Ear Infections

    Children Exposed to Secondhand Smoke – American Medical Association (AMA)

    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.

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    Other Effects Of Smoking On The Ear

    One of the major impacts on the ear in the presence of free radicals in the body. Free radicals are highly reactive compounds that can wreak havoc on almost anything organic.

    They contribute to the aging process by causing oxidative stress, which is the breakdown of molecules due to the addition of oxygen.

    In the case of the ear, free radicals are responsible for causing inflammation and swelling, which can lead to issues like the ones we have already mentioned such as tinnitus, ear infections, or even hearing loss in general.

    Schedule Your Ear Nose And Throat Consultation Today

    You’re entitled to a higher quality of life. At ENT Specialists, our warm and compassionate team will keep you comfortable and happy throughout your relief journey. Schedule your one-on-one consultation today to experience the difference ENT Specialists can make in your life! We offer ENT treatments in Novi, Brighton, and Bingham Farms.

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    Is Smoking Linked To Ear Infections

    Yes, for both adults and kids. The cause is two-fold: Smoking weakens the immune system and it damages tissues in the nose and throat, making them more susceptible to infections that affect the ears, too.

    But because of their ear anatomy, children are at higher risk of ear infections to begin with. This risk is even higher if they are exposed to secondhand smoke. As the CDC explains, secondhand smoke causes numerous health problems in infants and children, including more frequent and severe asthma attacks, respiratory infections, ear infections, and sudden infant death syndrome . In some cases, middle ear infections in kids can lead to hearing loss.

    How Is Chronic Ear Infection Treated In Children

    Second hand smoke is harmful to 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 arenât operating properly, grommets might be put into the ear drum to provide another drainage route for the middle ear. Getting rid of your childâs 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 doctorâs advice, nor does it create any form of patient-doctor relationship.

    By Genevra Pittman, Reuters Health

    4 Min Read

    NEW YORK â 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 âNo Smokingâ 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.

    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.

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    Secondhand Smoke And Lung Cancer Patients

    • Data show that patients with non-small cell lung cancer who are exposed to secondhand smoke have worse outcomes.9 Including:
    • Reduced overall survival.
    • Reduced progression-free survival .
    • Simply put: lung cancer patients exposed to secondhand smoke are more likely to die than patients not exposed.
  • Exposure to secondhand smoke makes it harder for lung cancer patients who smoke to quit smoking.10 Smoking during lung cancer treatment makes the treatment less effective.11,12
  • Some Risks Of Secondhand Smoke

    • SIDS occurs four times more often in smoke-exposed babies than in babies who have a smoke-free environment.
    • Pneumonia and bronchiolitis occur four times more often.
    • Respiratory infections increase.
    • Smoke makes asthma worse and can cause more asthmatic episodes.
    • Ear infections are made worse because smoke irritates the middle ear tube . It causes swelling, leading to infections. Ear infections are the most common cause of hearing loss in children.

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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.

    How Is Smoking Related To Asthma

    Ear Infections: Avoid This One Thing…

    If you have asthma, an asthma attack can occur when something irritates your airways and triggers an attack. Your triggers might be different from other peoples triggers.3

    Tobacco smoke is a common trigger for asthma. Tobacco smokeincluding secondhand smokeis unhealthy for everyone, especially people with asthma.3,6 Secondhand smoke is a mixture of gases and fine particles that includes:4,5

    • Smoke from burning tobacco products, such as cigarettes, cigars, or pipes
    • Smoke that has been exhaled by someone who smokes

    Secondhand smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, including hundreds that are toxic and about 70 that can cause cancer.6

    If you have asthma, its important that you avoid exposure to secondhand smoke.3

    If you are among the 21% of U.S. adults who have asthma and smoke, get help to quit smoking talk to your doctor about treatments that can help you, or call . 7

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    Signs Your Baby Has An Ear Infection

    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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    The Good News Your Risk Drops When You Quit Smoking Research Indicates

    Contributed by Joy Victory, managing editor, Healthy HearingLast updated March 15, 20222022-03-15T00:00:00-05:00

    Smoking is a well-established risk factor for hearing loss. Studies have shown that time and again exposure to cigarette smokewhether directly, secondhand, or even in uterocan have a big impact on a person’s hearing health.

    Smoking can contribute to poor health, including hearing loss.

    Most recently, a January 2022 study found links between persistent smoking and hearing problems. The study, published in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, looked at patterns of hearing loss over 30 years among three groups: never/former smokers, smokers who quit during the study period or smokers who continued to smoke for the duration of the study. Those who never stopped smoking scored poorer on hearing tests.

    Older studies have found similar patternsand the elevated risk even applies to non-smokers living with a smoker, who were twice as likely to develop hearing loss as those who were not exposed at all, according to this JAMA study.

    Young smokers hearing health is at risk, too. Teens exposed to cigarette smoke are to two to three times as likely to develop hearing loss compared to those with little or no exposure, one study showed. What’s more, 80 percent of the participants in the study had no idea their hearing health had been affected.

    Smoking is strongly linked to tinnitus, dizziness and vertigo, as well.

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    The Good News About Smoking And Hearing Loss

    The 2022 JAMA study mentioned above revealed some good news: Former smokers measured better on hearing tests that persistent smokers, showing that quitting is indeed beneficial to your hearing.

    According to the American Lung Association, 20 minutes after your last cigarette, your blood pressure decreases and your circulation improves. Within 8 hours, your carbon monoxide and oxygen levels return to normal. In 48 hours, your sense of smell and taste improve and your nerve endings begin to regenerate.

    Additional health benefits of quitting, according to the CDC, include:

    • Lowered risk of lung cancer and other types of cancer,
    • Reduced risk of coronary heart disease , stroke, and peripheral vascular disease,
    • Reduced respiratory symptoms, such as coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath,
    • Reduced risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and
    • Reduced risk for infertility of women of reproductive age.

    While you cant reverse any sensorineural hearing loss youve developed during your smoking years, you can prevent any future nicotine-related damage to your hearing once you quit.

    How Can Ear Infections Be Prevented

    4 Tips for Ear Infection Prevention

    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.

    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.

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

    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.

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