Ear infections (otitis media) occur when fluid accumulates in the middle ear and cannot drain properly, causing pressure and pain.The conventional treatment often consists of antibiotic therapy, and if it fails repeatedly and/or the infections recur, tympanostomy (tubes installed through the eardrums, under general anaesthesia) is often prescribed. You may be surprised to learn that the benefits of these are highly questionable.
In fact, multiple studies have shown the inefficiency of antibiotics in treating ear infections. A landmark study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association even demonstrated that antibiotic therapy increases infection recurrence two to six times (not a desirable side effect)! Furthermore, excessive antibiotic use has led to the #1 public health problem today: antibiotic-resistant bacteria, according to Dr. Bill jarvis from the Center for Disease Control.
As for tympanostomy, the picture is not much better. The medical journal The Lancet reported no benefit in placing tubes. Other studies showed that permanent damage to the eardrums occurred in over 40% of patients and hearing loss was twice as common in the surgical group compared to the non-surgical group. Furthermore, the recurrence of middle ear effusion seems to occur in as high as 40% of children who get tubes.
But the news is not all bad. A study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics showed improvement in 93% of cases, with chiropractic adjustments. Another study with 332 children showed an 85% success rate in the chiropractic treatment of ear infection verified by tympanography, with no recurrence within 6 months. Interestingly, 95 of the children were referred by medical doctors, giving indications of the openness shown towards chiropractic by a part of the medical community.
Why is chiropractic so successful? Remember that every function of the body is controlled by the nervous system. An adjustment restores normal nerve function to:
- the Eustachian tube, allowing for proper drainage the middle ear
- the immune system, increasing the body’s natural resistance to infection.
It’s that simple!
As well as chiropractic, which we feel is essential, the following recommendations may also help:
- No dairy products, bananas or nuts; they favour thick mucous production
- Lots of water; it thins out mucous secretions, helping drainage
- Vitamin C, 250mg x age in years, per day, in several doses
- Acidophilus, 1 capsule per day, which will restore normal, healthy bacteria in body cavities, including ears and sinuses.
If you know someone with ear infections, give us a call. We can help!
Shania Wipf came to our office on May 28 because of recurring ear infections. Her condition had required multiple bouts of antibiotics that were not successful at resolving the problem. When she came in, she was scheduled for tympanostomy,...read more...
Charlene Friesen first came to our office in 1997 to bring in her son Lukas, 11 months old, for treatment. Lukas had recurring ear infections and had been on six different antibiotics with no success. The ear infection cleared right away...read more...
Shania Wipf came to our office on May 28 because of recurring ear infections. Her condition had required multiple bouts of antibiotics that were not successful at resolving the problem. When she came in, she was scheduled for tympanostomy, a surgery in which they cut the eardrum and insert tubes in them, under general anasthesia. In two weeks of adjustments, the infection resolved and Shania's mom, Lillian, was happy to cancel the surgery. Thank you Lillian for trusting chiropractic and avoiding surgery for your daughter!
Charlene Friesen first came to our office in 1997 to bring in her son Lukas, 11 months old, for treatment. Lukas had recurring ear infections and had been on six different antibiotics with no success. The ear infection cleared right away and he has never needed antibiotics again. Chiropractic made so much sense to Charlene that she decided to become a patient and bring her other kids in as well. The frequent hip pain she was having disappeared. Several health concerns her children had resolved. They have all been on regular maintenance chiropractic care since then. As a nurse, Charlene knows from her experience that if more people were seeing a chiropractor regularly, the overall health of the community would be improved as it has for her family, and there would be fewer hospitalizations and surgeries. Thank you Charlene for being a great patient, an awesome mom and for being a chiropractic advocate.