Most health care providers and parents worry that a child who has middle ear fluid in one or both ears may have trouble hearing. Experts do not know how much middle ear fluid affects hearing. Experts are not sure if hearing loss form middle ear fluid can cause delays in learning to talk, and sometimes later on, problems with school work. They do not know for sure what the long-term effects of middle ear fluid are.
Recent studies show that children who live with smokers and who spend time in group child care have more car infections.
Because some children who have middle ear infections later get middle ear fluid, you might help prevent middle ear fluid by:
- Keeping your child away from cigarette smoke.
- Trying to keep your child away from playmates who are sick.
Sometimes a child with middle ear fluid does not hear well. The most common complaint of parents whose child has middle ear fluid is that the child turns the sound up too loud or sits too close to the television set. Or sometimes the child does not seem to be paving attention.
Speak to your child's health care provider if you are concerned about your child's hearing. Often, middle ear fluid is found at a regular check-up.