Ear infections are particularly prevalent in young children. They are blockages in the Eustachian tubes, and chiropractic adjustments, especially in the neck region can help to unblock any fluids or infections in the ear by allowing proper drainage.
What Causes Ear Infection?
The Eustachian tube is a tiny tube that drains any fluids from the middle ear into the throat. Colds, allergies, airborne or due to cow’s milk or other foods block this tube with mucus and inflammation. When this canal is closed off, inflammatory fluids build up in the middle ear. Over time passage of nasal and throat bacteria into this tube seed the middle ear. Bacteria can then multiply in this environment creating painful infection.
Why Are They More Common in Kids?
Children in particular have Eustachian tubes that are more parallel than those in adults. Because of this difference in anatomy, children are more prone to ear infections.
How Can Parents Reduce the Incidence of Ear Infections?
Parents can reduce the risk of ear infection by breastfeeding for immune protection, not permitting bottle drinking at night in the crib, reducing inflammation throughout the body by limiting sugar, not permitting pacifier use while on the child is on his/her back, and by catching ear infection before they become severe. Getting your child’s spine checked regularly by a chiropractor will also boost the child’s immune system.
Many ear infections are viral and not bacterial, in which cases antibiotics are generally useless against a virus. Antibiotics can make viral infections worsen by wiping out competing bacterial flora and encouraging secondary bacterial infections of resistant strains. Numerous chronic ear infections are fungal in nature produced when multiple courses of antibiotics disrupt the normal floral balance and encourage fungal growth.
In the Untied States, the standard treatment for ear infections is antibiotic, but they are often prescribed when there is fluid buildup without infection or when the eardrum just appears red, suggesting inflammation. The eardrum can appear very red due to many causes including crying, allergies, or fever of another origin. In fact it is not possible to accurately diagnose infection without puncturing the eardrum and taking a fluid sample.
Several studies have shown that antibiotics provide a minimal benefit over no treatment at all for resolving short-term ear infections. A review of 33 studies found that spontaneous recovery without medical treatment occurred in 81% of acute cases and occurred 95% of the time with antibiotic use. There was a higher rate of returning acute ear infection seen in those who received antibiotics. It is also note-worthy that at least one third of children on antibiotics experience side effects.
Therefore modern recommendations would be to only use antibiotics in acute infections that do not resolve on their own within a few days. Many European countries have followed this protocol with good results and simultaneously reducing the development of bacterial strains resistant to antibiotics. The American Academy of Pediatrics also recommends a watch-and-wait approach.
A child may find relief with a heating pad placed over the ear, or warm garlic or tea tree oil drops into the ear. Reducing fever is not recommended since it is the body’s way of burning the invading microbes.
Chiropractic for Ear Infections
A chiropractor will feel the neck and spine of the child examining for misalignments and make adjustments as needed to help release any fluid. Adjusting any misalignment of the spine in the neck will also improve immune system function and allow the child to express a greater state of health.
At Relief Plus Chiropractic, Dr. Hillesheim is a Minnetonka Chiropractor dedicated to helping families and children get back to living a healthy life to the fullest. Take advantage of our FREE consultation today to see how we can help your family!
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