CHRONIC EAR INFECTIONS

It's painful for your child and you've tried everything for their chronic ear infection. Homeopathy and osteopathy provide a solution.

Chronic Ear Infections in infants and children are commonly treated by homeopathy and osteopathy when conventional treatments have failed. Acute ear infections are generally caused by microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses that migrate from the back of the throat along the Eustachian tube, causing an infection in the middle ear.

The Eustachian tube is a structure which runs from the middle ear to the back of your throat, high above your soft palate. Acute ear infections are treated by conventional physicians with antibiotics based on the appearance of the ear drum and other symptoms such as fever, loss of appetite and ear pain. Homeopaths, of course, treat with remedies and osteopaths treat with gentle manipulation. It is safe in most cases to delay antibiotic treatment for up to 48 hours, while waiting for the remedy to work. I do not object to antibiotics for ear infections if absolutely necessary.

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However treated, acute ear infections are simple and tend not to recur. Yet, there are some children who seem to get these infections frequently and are on multiple rounds of antibiotics without resolution of the problem. Sometimes parents are told that the angle of the Eustachian tube is the cause and as the child grows, the angle will change and the drainage will improve and there will be fewer infections. This cannot be true. If it were true every child would have chronic ear infections until their Eustachian tubes matured! Finally, in desperation, surgery to place plastic tubes in the eardrums is recommended. This helps change the pressure in the Eustachian tubes and promotes drainage of fluid to the back of the throat. In my experience, this should very rarely be needed.

The real problem usually involves allergies to either food or environmental factors such as dust, dust mites, pets, cigarette smoke or mold. The tissues in the throat and the Eustachian tube itself will begin to swell in response to the allergens and this will block the flow of air and fluid in the tube. Tonsils and adenoids, both lymphatic glands, will also swell in response to allergens. The adenoids are glands which sit right at the entrance to the Eustachian tubes and as they swell, the tube itself is blocked. In the old days, tonsils and adenoids were routinely removed in children who were frequently sick. These days, surgeons operate on the other end of this system by putting a plastic tube in the ear drum to relieve the negative pressure in the middle ear caused by the blockage.

Homeopathy offers a better solution by treating the child's constitution and reducing or eliminating the allergic sensitivity. This treatment is gentle and gradual taking several months or a year. Acute flare-ups are also treated with homeopathic remedies and antibiotics are reserved as a last resort. Osteopathic treatments can help assure that the bones of the cranium are all rhythmically moving as they should thus reducing any blockage in the Eustachian tubes. Chronic ear infections are frequently related to a restriction of one or both of the temporal bones. The temporal bone is the cranial bone which surrounds the structures of the middle and inner ear. Gentle treatment of the neck and upper back will also help with drainage of lymphatic fluid and encourage proper function of the ears, nose and throat.