Many children suffer from chronic ear infections with the only sign of hope being antibiotics or surgical tube placement. However, when antibiotics fail and tubes either fail or are not an option you would like for your child, what is the next step?
Let’s start with where the infection may be coming from. Since your infant or child’s first vertebrae in their neck is very close to their Eustachian tubes, sometimes when that bone is not moving correctly, or subluxated, the tube will become irritated. Obvioulsy, antibiotics will not cure a tube that is just irritated without infection. The signs and symptoms may be the same as an infection but the source is very different. Also, children’s tubes are much more straight across their skull, as opposed to angled downward like adults, and drainage is not as constant or sufficient. This may be linked to infections but not always.
Always attempt a course of conservative care for ear infections! As a chiropractor, I always ask my patients for at least 3 to 5 visits before moving on to other options. If I cannot correct a subluxation (or bone not moving correctly in the spine) and find a natural alternative through supplements, food/diet changes, and other treatments within that time frame, then we know that is not the source of the problem.
Try using an ear solution consisting of olive oil, essential oils and herbs. I always recommend using Shawnee Moon products, which contains olive oil, fresh garlic bulb, violet leaf, & calendula flower. You place one to two drops in your child’s ear every day. This will help relieve any inflammation, infection, and irritation*. Check out the Ear Oil G and T.
Take a cotton ball, or small piece of cloth and add some lavender to the ball. Place inside your child’s ear for an hour max. You can also rub the oil on the back of the ears and neck.
Another option is to have your child tested for allergies using muscle testing as opposed to needles. Muscle testing is not invasive and can also be fun for children who are of the right age. The test is performed with the child putting their arm straight out in front of their body and the doctor applies pressure to their arm. If the child can hold up their arm, we call that ‘strong’ and if they cannot we call that ‘weak’. You can test your child for food allergies or sensitivities that may be contributing to either inflammation or a weak immune system. If the child is too young, we use the parent as a surrogate and test the parents arm instead of the child’s, while they are holding the infant in their lap. This may sound more complicated than it is, but when used in the right way with a trained professional this testing procedure is very accurate. Many chiropractors who practice Applied Kinesiology and NAET are experts in muscle testing and NAET doctors specialize in treating the allergies. Look for one in your area!
The most common food irritators are formula, cow’s milk, soy, wheat, and any processed foods. Many parents attempt to use ten different formulas before finding the right one or just using cow’s milk. Bring in any food or formula that your child is eating daily and have it tested.
So the moral of the story is, if your child suffers from chronic ear infections and antibiotics are not working and surgery is looming, try out some different methods for treating the ears for at least five sessions (more or less) and look at some different supplements!
*This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.