Has your child been diagnosed with glue ear?
If so, this information has been designed to help you recognise the risks associated with exposure to second hand smoke and suggests ways that you can reduce these risks for your child.
What is glue ear?
Glue ear is a common childhood condition where the middle ear becomes filled with fluid, where normally it is filled with air.
The fluid makes it difficult for sounds to pass through to the hearing organ. This can make quiet sounds harder for your child to hear.
Children are more likely to be affected if they have had repeated ear infections and colds. Another main factor has been found to be exposure to second hand cigarette smoke as this can irritate the lining of parts of the ear causing it to become inflamed.
Second hand smoke is the smoke breathed out by a smoker plus the smoke created by the lit end of the cigarette. It can contain arsenic, benzene and cyanide and is invisible and odourless.
What can you do to help protect your child?
Make your home and car smokefree:
- Discuss becoming smokefree with your friends and family
- Make a pact with your friends and family that your home and car will be smokefree
- Remember it isn’t enough to open a window; anyone wanting to smoke should go outside
- If you are a smoker and you go outside to smoke make sure your children are safe
- Remove ashtrays and lighters from indoors
- Ask anyone likely to be looking after your child not to smoke in their presence
- If you are a smoker, ideally quit smoking.
The sooner you quit the sooner you will begin to experience the benefits.
What causes this?
Stopping smoking dramatically increases your chance of living a longer life. It also reduces the chances of your children suffering from glue ear.
It takes just 20 minutes for your body to start healing once you quit smoking, repairing the damage done by all those years of smoking.
The benefits of stopping smoking include:
You will reduce the chances of your children suffering from glue ear, bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma attacks, meningitis and ear infections
You will reduce your risk of developing illness, disability or death caused by cancer, heart or lung disease
You will reduce your risk of circulatory problems
You will protect the health of those around you by not exposing them to secondhand smoke
You will improve your fertility levels and your chance of a healthy pregnancy and baby
You will enjoy the taste of food more
You will improve your breathing and general fitness
You will save money
The appearance of your skin and teeth will improve
You will reduce the risk of fire in your home and may pay lower insurance premiums
Useful contact numbers regarding stopping smoking
South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust would like your feedback. If you wish to share your experience about your care and treatment or on behalf of a patient, please contact The Patient Experience Department who will advise you on how best to do this.
This service is based at The James Cook University Hospital but also covers the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton, our community hospitals and community health services.