What Causes Otitis Media And What Can Be Done About It?

If you were able to look into the ear of a child who has otitis media, you would see a buildup of fluid behind the eardrum, and the inside of the ear would appear inflamed (swollen and red).

No wonder these little people are tugging their ear, having trouble sleeping, crying more than usual, are irritable and hard to please, not to mention running a fever over 100!

Pain ever make you crabby?

Yup, us too.

Remember otitis media is the official term for a middle ear infection.

These ear infections are an all-too-common condition for children under the age of 3 if…

  • they have improper drainage of the lymph system in the ear, nose, and throat,
  • if the muscle that is responsible for keeping bacteria and viruses out of the eustachian tubes doesn’t work properly, or
  • if they have a suppressed immune system causing recurring infections which by the way, we pediatric chiropractors can identify clearly.

So many times, these three conditions cause ear infection after ear infection.

What causes otitis media?

Otitis media is caused by either a bacterial or viral infection and frequently results from another illness such as the common cold.

For many children, it can become a chronic problem, requiring treatment year after year, and puts the child at risk of permanent hearing damage and associated speech and developmental problems.

However, even deeper than the common cold, the underlying root cause of otitis media is usually a mechanical problem.

Meaning, there is a neurological adjustment that needs to be made by a pediatric chiropractor which will allow healing to occur and therefore improve the hearing, speech and neurological development of your child.

Without the needed adjustment, the neuromechanical problem is causing either a reduced or blocked drainage of the lymph vessels in the neck – which results in a buildup of fluid in the inner ear – which can result in infection in the middle ear…

…or there is a possible loss of normal function of the small muscle at the opening of the eustachian tube in the throat – and that allows bacteria and viruses from the mouth to get stuck in the inner ear which is resulting in the infection in the middle ear.

Instead of treatment that tries to kill the bacteria or virus, the long term natural approach would be to restore normal drainage of the ears and neck lymphatics. This is most effectively done through chiropractic.

The neuromechanical adjustment we are able to perform allows the immune system to have the freedom and ability to work properly again to heal your child.

Unfortunately, the current treatment of choice for medical doctors (you’ve noticed) is to prescribe oral antibiotics, usually amoxicillin, which can be helpful to get rid of a bacterial infection.

But, according to many research studies, antibiotics are often not much more effective than the body’s own immune system. And repeated doses of antibiotics leads to drug-resistant bacteria as well as suppressed immune systems.

Perhaps you’re wondering…

What about tubes in the ears? Is that the best option? Is there another option?

Most people have heard about the common practice of placing ‘tubes in the ears’ to relieve the pressure, and therefore pain, of otitis media.

During this surgical procedure, a small opening is made in the eardrum and a small tube is placed in the opening. This opening helps to relieve the pressure in the ear and prevents fluid buildup. After a couple of months, the body pushes the tube out and the hole closes.

Although the treatment is often effective, it does not address the underlying cause of the infection, which is the abnormal mechanical functioning of the lymphatics, muscles and nerves.

If your child experiences recurrent ear infections, it’s important that you talk to a pediatric chiropractor.

By helping to restore the normal function of the muscles, nerves and lymphatics of the neck, otitis media can usually be significantly reduced or completely eliminated in many children, without the use of antibiotics and surgery.

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