Our Clinic's Approach To Treating Ear Infections
Ear infections, or medically known as otitis media, is a very common ailment that we see a lot in infants, children and occasionally in adults as well.
In adults, we have eustachian tubes that drain excess fluid into the back of our mouth. In children, their eustachian tubes aren’t fully formed and are parallel to the ground. This is why we see a lot more ear infections in children. When they’re parallel, the drainage doesn’t fully happen. But as we age, those eustachian tubes start dipping down, we get more drainage, and fluid doesn’t get backed up. When there is this buildup of fluid, it leads to infections and inflammation of the eustachian tube. It can cause congestion of fluid, pain and discomfort, and fevers. We commonly see kids reacting by complaining, crying, being fussy, and tugging on their ears.
Generally, parents can go to a medical doctor, a hospital walk-in clinic, or even an emergency room. A medical doctor will look in their ears and may prescribe a round of antibiotics. We see this all the time.
Chronic Antibiotic Use Can Lead to Chronic Illnesses
What most parents don’t know is that two or three chiropractic visits can often completely cure an ear infection without antibiotics. Often, ear infections are viral, so antibiotics won’t have any effect if the ear infection is caused by a virus.
Also, antibiotics will literally wipe out the precious gut-flora and bacteria in your intestines. Studies have shown that it can take up to two years for your intestines to reach the levels of gut-flora bacteria before taking an antibiotic. So imagine if a baby is prescribed an antibiotic every year or two for something as common as an ear infection. They may have insufficient natural gut-flora, limited vitamin production, limited nutrient absorption, and be susceptible to food or seasonal allergies and chronic issues like asthma.
We treat ear infections differently than most medical doctors. We have great success in resolving ear infections with, in most cases, two to three chiropractic adjustments.
Adjusting the upper neck very gently can help open up the eustachian tube. The nerves that leave the upper neck feed the eustachian tube. If there is a restriction in the muscle at the bottom of the eustachian tube, it can tighten up the area and not let the fluid drain.
When we adjust the upper neck, we allow that nerve to function, relax that muscle and this allows the fluid to drain naturally down the throat and the body can handle the infection naturally.
We know fevers are one of our body’s natural responses to infections. Fevers are natural. It’s our body’s immune system working hard trying to burn out all of the bad bugs.
Other ways to help support our body as it’s fighting ear infections is to boost the immune system.
We can supplement the immune system with vitamin C. Vitamin C is a very good immune booster and we know that oranges and citruses have vitamin C naturally. Sometimes we need to supplement a little bit more with quality vitamin C supplements during these times of illness to get that immune system ramped up a bit more.
Vitamin D3 is another good supplement to boost your immune system. In the winter-time, we don’t see a lot of the sunlight like we do in the summer. We’re not outside playing. So we have a vitamin D deficiency and we know vitamin D significantly boosts the immune system.
Probiotics are another great supplement when the body is fighting and illness. We know that 80 percent of the immune system lives in the digestive tract. If your kids have ever been sick, you may have seen them either end up with diarrhea, constipation or different issues because literally, that immune system is leaving digestion to go fight whatever it needs to in the body. So by replenishing some probiotics in the body, it can help get the digestive system moving those toxins out of the body and help support the immune system through the time of illness.