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Ear Infections and your Child

It seems like almost every day I hear a story of a child suffering with an ear infection. Maybe it’s their first ear infection or maybe they’ve had recurring ear infections that just won’t seem to go away, even with antibiotics. These ear infections can be extremely painful and effect sleep habits of not just the baby but the parents as well. It only makes it more frustrating to think that there are no answers. Many families are looking towards natural routes to keep their child free of any of the dangerous side effects from drugs and antibiotics. The next question that needs to be asked is, “Is it really an infection in the ear?” Seems like a silly question but an “ear infection” isn’t always an ear infection, most of the time it is simply a drainage issue, meaning that fluid isn’t able to drain from the middle ear out through the Eustachian tube. This does not mean that the ear is infected, but simply is not able to drain properly, thus backing up in the middle ear and causing pain. Many parents often see this occur when the child is teething. As the child’s teeth start to form and poke through the gums, this causes inflammation to build up in gums, jaw, and surrounding tissues, which lie in close proximity to the Eustachian tube. This is a normal process of the body. Any excess fluid in the area is drained by the lymph nodes in the body. The lymphatic system needs properly functioning muscles to contract in order to flush out the lymph nodes and lymphatic system, specifically in the upper neck and tiny of muscles in the inner ear. So what can cause the muscles of the upper neck and skull to not contract properly? Misalignments in the upper portion of a child’s spine can interfere with the proper functions of the muscles by interfering with the proper communication of the nerves that exit the spine and go to those muscles. This can also interfere with the child’s immune system, which is controlled by the nervous system, and is vitally important to help fight ear infections and prevent them from recurring, but also for the child’s overall health. Chiropractors can identify these misalignments and gently correct them to balance the child’s nervous system, thus restoring proper function of the muscles, and improving the child’s immune system function and allow proper drainage of fluid from the ear.

Helpful Tips
  1. Chiropractic – Get your child checked to see if these misalignments are affecting their ability to properly drain.

  2. Take Probiotics- A large amount of our immune system is found in the digestive system. Probiotics build up the good bacteria in our digestive tract can help support your child’s immune system and recovery from infection.

  3. Be weary of Antibiotics - More parents are becoming aware of the dangers and shortcomings of antibiotics. A study done in 2009 shows that children 6 months to 2 years, who had taken antibiotics for ear infections, were 63% more likely for recurring ear infections as opposed to the placebo group.[1] Research shows that if it is truly an infection, it tends to be viral in nature, meaning antibiotics would be of no help.

  4. Most ear infections clear up on their own – Our bodies are our best doctor, the body is very capable to taking care of this issue. It’s important to remember that healing takes time, just like everything else in our bodies, it isn’t a quick fix.

  5. When to see your doctor– If your child’s fever rises above a 102 degrees.

  6. What if it’s an infection– If it truly is an ear infection, it’s most likely viral in nature. Once again antibiotics will not be effective. The best way to combat it is to give your body what it needs to fight back. Try foods and supplements that contain potent antiviral properties such as Zinc, Elderberry, and colloidal silver. Refer to instructions on their labels for instructions.

In love and health, Dr. Jes

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