Ear infections are a common occurrence in children.
Unfortunately, the majority of children will experience one, if not multiple recurring ear infections as an infant or toddler. While ear infections are common, they are certainly not normal.
Further, they are distressing to deal with for as a parent it can be defeating to see your child in great suffering and discomfort. Today, we are going to fill you in on the must-knows of ear infections and how chiropractic care can help with this. That way you’ll feel empowered instead of helpless if ear infections cross your path for the first time or again for that matter.
The Basics on Ear Infections:
- An ear infection is often a symptom of an immune system out of balance
- Ear infections will heal themselves naturally in strong and vital children
- Rarely do ear infections require antibiotic drugs or surgery
- Ear infections are either bacterial or viral in origin
- Chiropractic care is a natural solution for ear infections
- Chiropractic care strengthens the immune system allowing your child to fight off infection
The Medical Way
Most paediatricians will address ear infections in the forms of antibiotics (typically ampicillin or penicillin) or surgery. Surgery on the child’s ear drum or Tympanotomy is often recommended in serious ear infection cases and involves the insertion of artificial draining tubes. As studies have shown, antibiotics and surgery provide modest results as best when it comes to ear infections, with plenty of risks involved.
The Relationship between Antibiotics and Ear Infections:
- Ear infections are the most common reason for antibiotic use, however….
- According to research, almost 70% of ear infections are viral and do not require antibiotics
- Antibiotics are only considered effective for acute bacterial ear infections, not viral ones which will not respond to antibiotics
- The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a 48-72 hour waiting time for the child to fight the infection on their own before resorting to interventions
- Can have a negative effect on children’s delicate digestive systems
- Lead to adverse reactions like rashes, diarrhea, anaphylaxis and breathing issues
- Taking antibiotics when they are unnecessary (in the case of viral ear infections) poses harmful effects as well such as nausea, diarrhea, rashes, and stomach pain
- Recurring or chronic infections caused by antibiotic resistance
- Compromise of healthy intestinal development and gut immunity due to the eradication of healthy bacteria
Dangers of Ear Tube Surgery:
- Physical and emotional stress from risky anesthesia
- Risks of infection, hearing loss, scarring to the ear drum and allergic reaction to the tube
- Side effects of ear discharge/drainage and calcification of tissue in the middle ear
A Wellness Approach: Chiropractic Care & Nutrition
- First and foremost, chiropractic is not a “cure” or “treatment” for infections – your child’s body does all of the healing
- Chiropractic care helps restore proper spine function to promote a healthy nervous system, prompting your child’s body to self-heal. When healthy and thriving, our bodies have amazing fighting capabilities with infections
- Our ability to fight infection can be compromised by the quality of nerve signals to and from our brains. Nerve signal impairment can be caused by changes to the function of the bones in the upper neck and abnormal muscle tension in the area. Further, abnormal muscle tension can prevent natural drainage of the ear, exacerbating the ear infection
- The chiropractic approach is simple, gentle, and natural. Chiropractors will look specifically at distortions in the upper spine of the child. If the chiropractor detects nerve tension, they will gently address it with safe and gentle chiropractic adjustments. Chiropractic care will also involve mobilizing drainage to the ear
- These adjustments are gentle for infants and children, requiring no more than a light touch of the fingertip in just the right place and direction
- In addition to chiropractic, lifestyle modifications and nutritional advice relevant to support immunity is offered by your wellness chiropractor
Tips to Prevent Ear Infections
- Minimize your usage of child’s pacifier only for when they are going to bed or avoid completely
- Keep your child hydrated (encourage them to drink ample filtered water) Omega-3 (in the form of fish oil) can help to relieve the mucus collection in ears and sinuses that signifies the inflammatory process
- A probiotic formula supplement can normalize the flora and prevent further infections
- Adequate vitamin D intake is essential for optimal immune system function
Chiropractic Approach to Ear Infections. Retrieved from: http://www.acatoday.org/content_css.cfm?CID=69
Mercola, J. (2014, January 29).Ear Tubes May Not Have Long-Term Benefits for Kids with Ear Infections. Retrieved from: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/01/29/ear-infection.aspx
Neustaedter, R. (2014, September 1). Holistic Care of Middle Ear Problems in Children. Retrieved from: http://pathwaystofamilywellness.org/Holistic-Healthcare/holistic-care-of-middle-ear-problems-in-children.html