This article was provided by Dr. David Guest DC, a chiropractor at Britannia Chiropractic Clinic in Ottawa, Ontario. If you’d like to learn more please visit https://www.britanniachiro.com/
Middle ear infections, Otitis Media, are one of the most common infections pediatric doctors face. One in three children will experience an ear infection by the time they are six months old. That is a very high number. But get this – the incidence increases to four out of five children by the age of three (Talathi et al, 2017). An ear infection can occur when the Eustachian tube becomes swollen or blocked. This causes a buildup of fluid within the middle ear. Middle ear infections are more common in children than adults because their Eustachian tubes are smaller and are more horizontal making it harder for them to drain.
Children may experience chronic and recurring ear infections if their first ear infection is not treated quickly. Similarly, they may experience recurring middle ear infections. A chronic ear infection simply does not heal and may require surgery to heal. All types of ear infections commonly cause pain and discomfort to those that suffer. As a last ditch effort – doctors commonly have to insert small tubes through the ear drum to connect the middle ear to the outer ear. This helps to drain the fluid that is built up in the Eustachian tube but doesn’t go with out risks or side effects. These ear tubes will normally fall out on their own between six months and one and a half years. If they do not fall out on their own they will have to be surgically removed.
There are several types of middle ear infections and they can be defined as:
Acute Otitis Media: Parts of the middle ear are infected and swollen, trapping fluid behind the ear drum
Otitis Media with Effusion: After Acute Otitis Media has been resolved fluid may be left within the middle ear. The fluid is non-infected and usually does not cause pain or a fever.
Chronic Otitis Media with Effusion: Fluid remains in middle ear for long periods of time or returns repetitively even without an infection
Middle ear infections often come following respiratory infections as the Eustachian tube runs from the middle ear to the back of the throat. Infections are most commonly bacterial but can be viral and in some cases both, and can occur in one or both ears.
A child who has an ear infection may experience the following symptoms:
Headache and neck pain
Feeling of fullness in the ear
Fluid drainage from the ear
Lack of balance
Chiropractic Adjustments for Ear Infections
Chiropractic adjustments can help reduce the pain of chronic ear infections because they restore proper movement to the vertebrae, allowing the Eustachian tube to drain correctly. When the tube is draining properly, bacteria don’t have a chance to grow, and you can avoid most of the ear infections that cause so much discomfort. Spinal adjustments also help to remove nerve interference that has the potential to weaken the immune system.
In our clinic in Ottawa, we commonly see babies, toddlers, and children who have been suffering from ongoing ear infections. Parents usually present to us as a last ditch effort as “they have tried everything else”. In my opinion, I’d say 80-90% of kids (and their parents) notice improvements should they follow our care plans laid out (commonly 6-12 weeks). Research is more and more prevalent as to why Chiropractic is so safe, beneficial, and effective for these conditions. There has never been as much research being published as regularly on Chiropractic and its effectiveness as there is now.
Treating the Cause of the Problem
One of the key factors that make chiropractic treatment so effective is that it centers on treating the underlying cause of a particular health issue instead of just the symptoms. The issue may have to do with the vertebrae not allowing the Eustachian tube to drain, but the pain of an ear infection is how it manifests.
With conventional medicine, medication is given to dull the pain and antibiotics are given in an attempt to clear up the problem, but if the cause isn’t addressed it often continues to happen. This is why some kids have chronic recurring ear infections that never seem to go away completely. Our Ottawa chiropractic doctors are skilled at providing spinal adjustments to both adults and children, and they will communicate openly throughout the entire process.
It’s easy to get caught up in the world of prescription medicines, especially if your child is suffering, but there are non-invasive, drug-free ways to treat most health issues. If you or your child can’t seem to shake recurring ear infections, contact Dr. David Guest at Britannia Chiropractic Clinic in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada today for a consultation.
At Britannia Chiropractic Clinic our team is here to help answer your questions. Please feel free to contact us today.
Danishyar, A. Ashurst, JV. (2017). Otitis, Media, Acute. Statpearls.
Paltura, C., Can, T. S., Yilmaz, B. K., Dinç, M. E., Develioğlu, Ö. N., & Külekçi, M. (2017).
Eustachian tube diameter: Is it associated with chronic otitis media
development? American Journal of Otolaryngology, 38(4), 414-416.
Talathi, Saurabh. Gupta, Neha. Sethuram, Swathi. Khanna, Shefali. Sitnitskaya, Yekaterina.
(2017). Otitis Media in Fully Vaccinated Preschool Children in the Pneumococcal
Conjugate Vaccine Era. Global Pediatric Health. 4.
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