Ear Infections

Childhood ear infections (Otitis Media) are often very frightening to parents mostly because they appear suddenly, usually at night, with little warning.

The most common treatments used for ear infections are antibiotics, decongestants, anti-pyretics (fever medication), and tympanostomy (tubes in the ears). You may be surprised that the benefits of all of these are highly questionable.

For example, The Lancet, a major medical research journal, found that recovery time was about the same for children whether medical intervention happened or nothing was done at all. Another study from the Archives of Otolaryngology, showed that 88 percent of children with Otitis Media never needed antibiotics and antibiotics did not shorten the lifespan of the disease. As a matter of fact, a very recent issue of Newsweek Magazine reported that antibiotics are not nearly as effective as the body’s own immune system. What a concept!

For parents frustrated with recurring ear infections, the EENT( ear, eye, nose, and throat) specialist will most likely prescribe the “rite of tympanostomy” — words from the late Dr. Robert Mendelsohn, and a self proclaimed “medical heretic.” It is a surgical procedure whereby your child is anaesthetised so that a tube can be placed in his or her eardrum to drain fluid. Research, however, indicates that this procedure does little to eliminate the problem. It simply reduces pressure and fluid build-up.

Millions of these operations are performed in Canada and the U.S. each year and yet controlled clinical studies have determined that there was no benefit gained from the placement of tubes. As a matter of fact, they actually created complications such as scar formation on the ear drum leading to hearing loss. Not a desirable side effect!

As a Chiropractor, I see ear infections as a malfunction of the immune system and lowered resistance. In other words, the child’s body not being able to fight off or prevent the infection. The main cause of lowered immune resistance in a child is most often the process of delivery. Yes, birth. It can be very traumatic. The stress of the average, uncomplicated delivery can cause a vertebral subluxation of the delicate segments of a baby’s spine thereby affecting the way a child’s nervous system reacts to the world around him.

In their landmark research studies, Drs. Gutman and Biedermann examined hundreds of newborn infants and concluded that …“an unhealthy spine at birth causes…lowered resistance to infection, especially ear, nose, and throat infection.”

In my own practice, most children I see with ear infections do have a vertebral subluxation in their spine affecting the way their nervous system controls their resistance to infection. By eliminating this subluxation, the child’s normal resistance is increased and the threat of ear infection is minimized. You see, it’s not a matter of discovering yet another “wonder” antibiotic with which to drug you, it is a matter of having your child’s body function better.

As well as chiropractic care, which I feel is essential; you may want to try the following to help your child;

Echinacea tincture, 20 drops, 2x per day mixed with a few drops of orange juice for taste.

Zinc lozenges, although kids can’t stand these. Use as a last resort.

Warmed olive oil drops into the affected ear.

Chewable Congaplex® by Standard Process to strengthen the immune resistance (a great preventative during the cold weather.)

Remember, less sugar, more sleep and spinal adjustments create strong immune systems!