You run down the dark hallway to your screaming daughter. She sits, pressing her palm to her ear, the same one that had an ear infection just a few weeks ago. “Not again,” you think.
We all have or know a child who always seems to have earaches. Whether it is recurring or the same one that never gets healed, the child is frequently in pain. These chronic earaches are a problem across the nation.
Antibiotics are often the first choice for treating an earache, so these children’s’ systems are bombarded by round after round of medication. Why are the drugs used when they seem ineffective?
The Journal of the American Medical Association found in a 1999 report that “amoxicillin is not effective” and “…concluded that children who took the drug for ear infections were two to six times more likely to have a recurrence of their fluid build up.”
A report in 2000 from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) noted that with more than 5 million cases of acute infections, cost $3 billion annually. However researchers also found that many children with uncomplicated ear infections recover within 24 hours.
Acute earaches involve fluid in the middle ear. The Eustachian tube, which “drains” the ear, can function improperly if there is nerve interference in the upper part of the neck.
This interference can happen during birth, even in an uncomplicated delivery, with a vertebral subluxation in the delicate spine of an infant. As children play, tumble and just live life, subluxations break communication from the brain to the immune system, as well as to the Eustachian tube.
When the spine is realigned with chiropractic care, the body is better able to fight off the infection and stay healthy.
Other natural remedies can be helpful for parents and children. In his article, “Most Ear Infections Clear Up Without Antibiotics,” Osteopath Dr. Joseph Mercola comments that many ear infections are preventable by changing the diet and avoiding milk and dairy. If an infection develops, even with a good diet, he suggests a few drops of breast milk in the ear canal every few hours.
Warmed olive oil, echinacea tincture and a vitamin C supplement can also help to soothe an earache and boost a child’s immune system.
Whatever course of treatment is sought, recurring earaches should not be considered a normal part of childhood. Effective alternatives to continuous antibiotics should be considered.