Ear infections are the most common reason that parents bring their children in for treatment, especially this time of year. Children are more susceptible to ear infections due to the anatomy of the ear. Adults can get ear infections, but it is less likely to occur.
There are two types of ear infections. The type that affects the middle ear and is called otitis media and is typically. The tubes inside the ear can become filled with fluid and mucus because at a young age the tubes are more horizontal to the ground and as we get older they become more vertical which allows for better drainage. This is the reason adults are less likely to be afflicted with ear infections.
The second type is common more common this time of year and is known as Swimmer’s ear or otitis externa.
As we all know, ear infections can be quite painful but if your child is too young to tell you that their ear hurts here are several telltale signs that you can watch for:
- Tugging at ears
- Crying more than usual
- Trouble sleeping
- Hearing problems
- Balance issues
- Fluid draining from the ear
- Many of the mothers report a distinct smell coming from the childs’ ear
Ear infections can go away on their own, however, as a mother, it is miserable to see your child in pain. Many parents take their child to their pediatrician and antibiotics are prescribed. Antibiotics can help fight the infection but they do have nasty side effects so I would like to share some natural solutions and prevention tools to this painful problem so that you can help your littles avoid it all together. If you choose to use antibiotics I would recommend getting the ear drops vs. the oral to avoid many of the side effects.
Being a Chiropractic Internist I must mention the importance of the chiropractic adjustment as prevention and part of treatment. A chiropractic adjustment can ensure alignment of the cervical spine which can help with drainage, but more importantly, the adjustment provides a boost to the immune system by affecting the nervous system. Along with the adjustment I also use a technique called the pharyngeal sweep. This can be uncomfortable while it is being performed but when it is done then it is done. The eustachian tubes (tubes in the ear) drain into the mouth but are covered by a muscle. By using my finger to “swipe” the muscle it will allow for the tubes to drain. I encourage parents to allow the child to spit when needed as it may drain for several hours after treatment.
As prevention I like to use Melaleuca essential oil behind the ear morning and night daily. I use doTERRA essential oils because I love their dedication to providing Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils that I know are safe to use on my Itty Bitty. I am happy to share more information about doTERRA if you would like to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Melaleuca can also be used as a treatment for ear discomfort as well. During an active infection I recommend to use it behind the ear 4-5 times a day until it subsides then continue as maintenance 2 times daily as I previously mentioned for prevention. For more information on Melaleuca Touch: http://bit.ly/2Immw3B I like the roller bottle because it is super easy to use!
My Itty Bitty is constantly in water during the summer, whether it be a pool or the lake so I like to use alcohol as a prevention as well. After she has been in the pool or lake I use an eye dropper to put a couple drops of alcohol in her ear and let it sit for just 10-20 seconds then we flip her head over and do the other side. The alcohol will dry up any water that may stay in her ear.
I also recommend a product called Biocidin. There are two forms that can be used but what Biocidin does is dismantle biofilms of the bacteria decreasing the life span, therefore, shortening the duration of the infection. This is also a safer alternative to antibiotics. 😉 For more information on Biocidin LSF: http://www.healthylifestyleswellnesscenter.com/index.php?p=175885&details=1&catId=686&pid=6615&s=
Ear discomfort sucks not only for the kids but for the parents as well. I am a firm believer in preventing it in the first place and it is super easy. So parents do yourselves and your kids a favor and use these little tips and tricks. Be the super hero in your home by keeping things on hand to use so you can avoid doctors offices, waiting rooms, and copays.
Keep living happy lives peeps!