Ear infections are a very common problem in children. Many children have prolonged problems with their ears. Often these infections do not seem to go away with antibiotics or similar treatments. However did you know that a Chiropractor could help with your child’s ears?
Problems with ear infections affect children all across the globe. Up to 10% of children are affected in the developed world. In the developing world as many as 45% are affected. And it is widely believed that many of these children are suffering needlessly.
The problems can start in infancy, peaking at around the age of two and lasting up until the age of 6. Where treatment is not affective, a child may well continue to suffer from problems beyond the age of 6 and into early adulthood. Symptoms include soreness, pain, fluid, loss of appetite, changes in behavior and trouble sleeping.
Signs your child has a middle ear infection.
There are tell tale signs which could indicate whether your child is suffering from ear problems.
1. Balance problems and dizziness
2. Hearing problems
3. When there is increased pressure in the ear, a young child can often be seen rubbing their ears in an attempt to alleviate this.
4. Popping or ringing in the ear. Your child will need to be older to explain this symptom.
We might presume that ear infections are simply part of a child growing up. However yet when left untreated this can cause complications. Children may experience temporary or permanent hearing loss, delayed speech and in the most serious cases, death.
The conventional treatments for ear infections include antibiotics, ear drops, ear wicking and surgery. Sometimes it is necessary to have ear tube surgery. This basically involves the insertion of a tiny tube into the ear. The tube equalizes the pressure in the ear and prevents future problems.
Although ear tubes can prevent any long term damage from recurrent ear infections, there are still risks to consider. Additionally, some reports suggest that some children have been fitted with tubes unnecessarily.
As with any surgery, anesthesia is always a risk. Also the insertion of tubes can cause scarring on the eardrum. However, repeated ear infections can also have this effect. Many parents report a positive change in their child after surgery.
In some countries, children receive an immunization called Prevnar. The vaccine prevents infections from the bacteria pneumococcus. Pneumococcus is known to cause blood infections, meningitis and ear infections. Studies into the vaccine show that children who receive it, report up to a 20% decrease in the number of ear infections experienced.
Whilst antibiotics are a common solution, regular use can cause resistance to the drug. Some patients also report other unwanted side effects such as diarrhea. However, many health professionals continue to prescribe them and antibiotics can start a vicious cycle. Antibiotics are well known to lessen the body’s natural immune response. Furthermore, the western world is facing super bugs which cannot be treated with antibiotics due to over use.
If your child is suffering with an uncomplicated ear infection, then 80% of these cases will go away on their own. In the meantime you can comfort your child in the following ways.
- Raise the head of the bed. For smaller children place a blanket or pillow under the mattress.
- Keep your child hydrated. Add herbs into the diet which help to break up the mucus.
- Keep solid foods to a minimum and dose with vitamin C.
- Gently pull your child’s ear lobe away from the head and massage.
Are there any other steps which could prevent my child getting an ear infection?
Is your child suffering a large number of ear infections? Would you like to prevent your child from getting ear infections in the first place?
- Breastfeeding is good all round for the immune system. Research has shown a direct link between breast feeding and a reduced amount of ear infections.
- When children are surrounded buy a constant stream of different children, germ sharing can be rife. Where possible, switch your child to a home daycare setting which will reduce the risk.
- Are allergies a contributing factor to your child’s infections? If you think this could be the case, research how you can reduce triggers of the allergies.
- Never feed baby in a lying position. This can cause milk to run into the Eustachian tube which can contribute to ear infections.
- As soon as your child shows symptoms of a cold, make sure you reduce irritation by keeping the nose as clear from mucus as possible.
- Most responsible adults would not smoke near a young child as a standard measure. Children’s nasal passages can be irritated by smoke, so don’t exacerbate the problem.
- Boost your child’s immune system with Echinacea.
- Eating more raw fruit and vegetables is never a bad thing and it can help prevent infections.
Chiropractic For Chronic Ear Infections
In recent times, more and more parents are looking to chiropractors for help in alleviating childhood ailments. So what is difference between conventional methods and a chiropractor? Whilst a doctor may treat the symptoms, a chiropractor looks at the underlying cause. The purpose of the Chiropractor is to adjust the spine. This restores the natural functioning of the body and to enable the body to heal itself without the use of drugs.
Did you know that many Chiropractors believe there is a link between the birthing process and ear infections? During birth the neck can become misaligned. This disrupts normal nerve function and leads to a build up of fluid in the middle ear.
Recent research has shown a strong correlation between chiropractic adjustments and the resolution of ear infections. In a study of 322 children who were experiencing chronic ear infections, 80% experienced no further infections after undergoing a series of chiropractic adjustments. This is only a small scale study and chiropractors are calling for extensive clinical trials.
Are there any side effects?
More research needs to be done in this area but chiropractic treatment is a drug less approach which parents should seriously consider if their child experiences chronic ear problems. People can be concerned about the risk of spinal readjustment and what could happen if something goes wrong. However it should be noted that the risk of any serious complication is just 6.39 per 10 million adjustments for the neck and 1 per 100 million for lower back adjustments.
If your child is suffering with chronic ear conditions why not stop their suffering today and contact us here at Pure Chiropractic. Call us today for a no obligation quote.