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Ear Infections

Common, But NOT Normal. Common Might be an Understatement

doctor checking child's ear

It’s time to stop treating the effects, and start treating the cause.

An ear infection is an inflammation of the middle ear, usually caused by a virus and occasionally bacteria, that occurs when fluid builds up behind the eardrum.

Some of the latest research tells us that nearly 80% of kids will suffer from at least one ear infection before the age of 2, with many of those kids suffering from multiple infections. Add that all up, and no wonder that half of all visits to the pediatrician in this country are for infections related to the ear and respiratory system.

When numbers reach the percentages stated above, a condition such as ear infections become so “common” they start to be thought of as “normal.” Parents and health care providers look at it as just something kids have to go through when they are young.

We can speak from experience, having seen many kids in clinical practice as babies that have never had an ear infection, and have helped many who have find a solution.

The question must arise, if we have a problem that is effecting 8 out of every 10 kids born in the USA…what are we doing about it to solve this problem?

Typical Treatment Options Aren’t Working

The truth is we are doing the same thing we have been doing for decades, which is treating the symptoms instead of addressing the cause of the problem. In the case of an ear infection, it usually results in parents walking out of the Pediatrician’s office with prescription antibiotics. Based on the stats stated above, one can conclude that this isn’t working. In fact, we have known since the 1980’s that antibiotics are not only mostly ineffective in treating ear and sinus infections, they can be dangerous too. Some studies show that each time a child under the age of 2 is prescribed an antibiotic, it increases their risk of developing asthma and allergies later on by 2-4 fold. Now fast forward a bit and ask yourself if more kids suffer from allergies and asthma than they did just one generation ago? Plus if you’ve watched the news at all the past few years, you know that we now also have to deal with things called antibiotic-resistant “superbugs” which is caused by the misuse and overuse of antibiotics by our health care system and is a major problem.

The above paragraphs only really give us a brief description of the problems created by mismanagement of “common” childhood illnesses like sinus and ear infections. But for sake of time we will cut to the chase and get to the info that REALLY matters…How can we help your child struggling with ear infections, and better yet how can we prevent them from occurring in the first place. Below we are going to talk about what REALLY causes ear infections in the first place. When you know the CAUSE of a problem, it is much easier to fix and prevent.

What REALLY Causes Ear Infections?

Parents are often told that kids Eustachian tubes (think drainage pipe in the ear) are more horizontal in children, which causes the ears to not drain. This is true, however it is far from solving the whole puzzle. The horizontal nature of tubes in infants are positioned that way because infants spend the majority of the time on their back. The root of the cause is certainly not a result of poor design or bad luck from genetics, there is way more to it than that. After having helped many kids with ear infections over the years, there are three major similarities we find in the majority of case history’s with ear infections that are the root CAUSE of the problem.

  • Some trauma and physical tension placed on the portions of the skull and upper neck surrounding the ears, leading to abnormal alignment and neuromuscular function of the ear tubes… and thus poor drainage.
  • Poor nutrition and increased toxicity in the child’s environment, leading to inflammation and excessive production and build up of mucus and fluid in the ear.
  • Misuse and overuse of antibiotics early in life leading to resistance and immune dysfunction, and thus reoccurrence of ear infections.

Treating the Cause Instead of the Symptoms

Like most problems in life, it becomes much easier to FIX the problem once you know what is CAUSING it. The first bullet point above is by far the most overlooked, yet biggest factor in the ear infection equation. If the ear tubes (or any type of drain) never “unclogs,” the fluid becomes stagnant and allows for an easy area for a virus or bacteria to proliferate. Think of a pond that has no inflow of new water or overflow to get rid of the old water…it will become stagnant and that allows gunk to build up on the surface. Same concept with the fluid that builds up and sits in the ear tubes without proper drainage.

In our office, we address the root cause of the problem, so the child can drain and heal if suffering… or even better, never get them in the first place. Here’s what we recommend:

  1. Have your child checked by a trained Pediatric Chiropractor to see if there is any misalignment of the upper neck and cranial bones causing poor drainage and poor immune function.
  2. Clean up their diet, especially limiting or removing dairy products and sugar.
  3. Look to build up the child’s immune system through diet and good supplementation. Use antibiotics and medications as a last resort, instead of a first response.

Oh, and did we mention that the vast majority of ear infections are viral, not bacterial!?! Yeah, that’s important because antibiotics have no effect on a viral illness.

All three of these steps work towards building up and improving immune and bodily function, instead of chasing down symptoms. In our practice this has proven to not only help kids with ear infections, but also helps to prevent other “common” illnesses that are “common” in children down the road.

Simply put, it’s common to think your child has to suffer from ear infections, but it certainly is not normal. Don’t let your kids suffer if you don’t have to, consider the things recommended here BEFORE you consider using antibiotics and I think you’ll really like the results.

Getting kids healthy without drugs or surgery is common practice in our office, and always will be! Give us a call today to discuss getting and keeping your kiddo healthy.



Centra Family Chiropractic | (608) 352-7476