What is an ear infection? Are ear infections serious?
Ear infections are also called otitis media. Yes, acute ear infections can be very serious. There is a risk of having a perforated ear drum, losing your hearing and ear pain. Chronic ear infections are often due to inflammation in the ear canal. This is the most common type of ear infections in children.
What causes ear infections?
Acute ear infections are caused by a bacterial or viral infection. Patients with chronic ear infections often have some sort of food sensitivity or allergen in their diet. What happens is their ear tubes or eustachian tubes will become swollen which will block the ear drainage, then these people are pre-disposed to having an ear infection. The reason why you will see ear infections in a baby or in children than an adult is because an infant or kid's ear tubes are horizontal because the face has not fully grown, so their ears don't drain as well. As you grow into an adult, your ear tubes are more vertical, so they can drain ear fluid better.
What are some signs and symptoms of ear infection?
The most common ear infections symptoms (including middle ear infection/inner ear infection) are when a child is tugging on their ear (if they cannot speak), they could have ringing in the ears, ear pain, fever, jaw pain, runny nose, etc.
When the patient comes to the doctor, the doctor will look in their ear with an AudioScope. If there is an ear infection, the doctor will be able to see some redness, the ear canal may be blood shot, there may be some ear fluid built up behind the ear drum, there may be some bulging of the ear drum.
Jennifer commented that ear infections are a big concern for parents. She's experienced taking her son to the hospital in the middle of the night when he was a baby because he was tugging at his ears and she was afraid he had an ear infection. Jennifer also has a number of friends and family members who's children have suffered from chronic ear infections who have gone through rounds of antibiotics and eventually had to put tubes in their children's ears. A lot of people don't realize that there are a lot of natural ear infection remedies, even home remedies that can treat ear infections.
How can you treat ear infections naturally?
The first thing to consider is getting to the root of the cause of the ear infection. If someone is experiencing chronic ear infections, they should consider an elimination diet to determine what the food sensitivity or food allergy may be. This involves removing the most common allergens like dairy, wheat and corn and see if that helps to clear up the ear infection.
There are homeopathic remedies like Calcarea Carbonica are also an effective ear infection remedy.
Ear oil is something that Jennifer always uses for her kids when they have e ar infections. The particular blend that she uses includes mullein and garlic. Ear oil can be used to both treat and prevent ear infections.
Chiropractic adjustments can also help prevent and treat ear infections.
Chiropractors look for sublexations or misalignments of the spine, as these sublexations tend to compromise natural or normal nerve function. This also reduces the immune system's ability to fight infection. In her clinic, Chiropractor, Dr. Tracy Schlachta will check her patients spines for misalignments and perform chiropractic adjustments to help move remove the nerve interference and restores natural healing so hopefully the person can get over the ear infection without having to take drugs. There is also a specific adjustment on the ear that could be performed. This is a tug on the ear which releases the pressure on the eustacian tube and equalizes it. Generally fluid that is built up in the ear tends to be reduced within a few minutes or a few hours of the adjustment. The number of adjustments necessary will depend on the patient. Dr. Schlachta also recommends having adjustments on a regular basis to keep the nerve system healthy and to help prevent future infections. The typical cost for a chiropractic visit at Dr. Schlachta's clinic is $15 for children per visit, $27 for students and $32 for adults.
Do you need a referral from a medical doctor to see a chiropractor? In Canada usually you don't require a referral from a medical doctor, however, some extended health care plans require a MD referral for a patient to be reimbursed for the cost of the visit. 98% of extended health care plans in Canada cover chiropractic expenses.
The ear adjustments may also help divers.
It is best to work with a healthcare practitioner to treat an ear infection.
What's Dr. JJ taking today:
Fish Oils: When Dr. JJ looks into patient's ears and sees dark ear wax, it is often due to a deficiency in essential fatty acids. Dr. JJ will usually prescribe Fish Oils to help increase the patient's intake of essential fatty acids. For many patients who have chronically blocked ears or ear wax build-up, when they start to take fish oils they find that the ear wax does not accumulate as much. This helps to eliminate the need for treatments every month or two months to clean the ears out with water to get rid of the excess wax. The fish oils help the wax to move out of the ear on its own.
There are other essential fatty acids that vegetarians can consider, like flax seed oil, black current oil, borage oil or hemp seed oil.
You can find chiropractors or naturopaths in your community through the Find a Practitioner link on our website www.vitaminjunkeys.com