Exposing children to smoking’ll cause ear infections – Expert

A Consultant Audiologist, Dr Irene Okeke-Igbokwe, has, advised parents not to expose their children to cigarette smokers to avoid ear infections.
Okeke-Igbokwe, who is also the director of the Nigerian Army Audiology Centre, Yaba, Lagos, gave the advise in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
“Avoid exposing your baby to cigarette smokers because studies have shown that babies who are around smokers are more prone to ear infections,” Okeke-Igbokwe warned.
An Online publication added: “Second-hand smoke is the smoke you breathe in from other people’s cigarettes, cigars or pipes.
“It can cause serious health problems for your child.
“Breathing in second-hand smoke is sometimes known as passive smoking.
“Children most commonly come into contact with second-hand smoke when their parents, family and friends smoke.’’
Okeke-Igbokwe also said fever, tugging and fussiness could affect a child’s hearing system.
According to her, ear infections are usually caused by bacteria in the environment and often begin after a child had developed sore throat, cold or other upper respiratory infection.
She said: “Ear infection is an inflammation of the middle ear usually caused by bacteria that occur when fluid builds up behind the eardrum.
“Anyone can get ear infections, but, children get them more often than the adult.
“We have three major types of ear infections in children and the most common is Acute Otitis Media (AOM).
“AOM affects the middle ear and it could  be swollen and fluid is trapped behind the eardrum which causes pain in the ear. It is commonly called an earache and may also lead to fever.
“Unfortunately, most ear infections happen to children before they learn how to talk.
“A child’s immune system is not as effective as an adult’s system because it’s still developing which makes it harder for children to fight infections.’’
Okeke-Igbokwe said the best way to prevent ear infections would be to reduce the risk factors associated with them and avoid the risk for further spread.
She said most times, if upper respiratory in children were affected by bacteria, they might spread to the middle ear.

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