Otitis media, the medical term for (middle) ear infection, is an affliction common to little children, particularly to those at age 6 months to 3 years old. However, this does not go to show that adults are exempted from it. Aside from the fact that adults have a more developed immune system, kids are more prone to ear infection than adults because of the difference on the anatomical structure of their Eustachian tubes. In adults, the Eustachian tubes are angled somewhat vertically, while kids have theirs positioned horizontally. The Eustachian tubes are responsible for draining accumulated fluids (coming from the respiratory system) down through the throat; you can imagine how it is harder for a tube positioned horizontally to drain fluids as compared to the one that is angled vertically.

 Girl with a Sore Ear

Middle ear infection or otitis media usually occurs during or after a cold. Sometimes, it is accompanied by pain and discomfort coupled with slightly blocked hearing capability. Certain conditions can exacerbate the likelihood of getting ear infection. Babies and little children who are more likely to get their ears infected are those that are:

  • Prematurely born
  • Exposed to other people or external environment (eg: day care centers)
  • Not breastfed (breastfeeding boosts a child’s immune system)
  • Unprotected from second hand smoking
  • Lying down while swallowing milk or any liquid
  • With clef palates
  • Using a pacifier or dummy.

Signs Your Child May Have an Infected Ear

If your kid already knows how to talk, of course, he/she would complain about the discomfort in his/her ear[s]. How about if he/she still a baby? Sometimes ear infection can be “silent.” In case that it is so, here are the symptoms to watch out for:

  • Cold or runny nose, with fever
  • Irritability and having trouble sleeping
  • Always pulling the ear
  • Loss of appetite
  • Difficulty with hearing.

The conditions mentioned on the list can also be symptoms of other illnesses. That is why it is recommended that you have your child checked by a general medicine physician or a paediatrician.

Chiropractic Can Be Effective against Ear Infection

In a study conducted by PubMed chronicled in its “Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 1996 Mar-Apr;19(3):169-77,” it has been discovered that, with limited or zero intervention of medications, chiropractic care has been shown to help decrease the symptoms and even assist in the cure of ear infection among young children.

Below is the abstract of the retrospective study.

The aims of this study were to determine (a) if the patients improved while under chiropractic care; (b) how many treatments were needed to reach improvement; and (c) which factors were associated with early improvement.

Cohort, nonrandomized retrospective study.

Private chiropractic practice in a Minneapolis suburb.

Forty-six children aged 5 yr and under.

All treatments were done by a single chiropractor, who adjusted the subluxations found and paid particular attention to the cervical vertebrae and occiput. Sacral Occipital Technique-style pelvic blocking and the doctor’s own modified applied kinesiology were also used. Typical treatment regimen was three treatments per week for 1 wk, then two treatments per week for 1 wk, then one treatment per week. However, treatment regimen was terminated when there was improvement.

Improvement was based on parental decision (they stated that the child had no fever, no signs of ear pain, and was totally asymptomatic), and/or the child seemed to be asymptomatic to the treating DC and/or the parent stated that the child’s MD judged the child to be improved. A data abstraction form was used to determine number of treatments used and presence of factors possibly associated with early improvement.

93% of all episodes improved, 75% in 10 days or fewer and 43% with only one or two treatments. Young age, no history on antibiotic use, initial episode (vs. recurrent) and designation of an episode as discomfort rather than ear infection were factors associated with improvement with the fewest treatments.

Although there were several limitations to this study (mostly because of its retrospection but also, significantly, because very little data was found regarding the natural course of ear infections), this study’s data indicate that limitation of medical intervention and the addition of chiropractic care may decrease the symptoms of ear infection in young children.

Source: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8728460

Chiropractic Care and Children’s Ear Infection

c/o Youtube channel YourChiropractor


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