Adjust Your Thinking About Chronic Ear Infections
by Dr. Elizabeth Wisniewski, DC
Editor´s Note from Abbey Denaro: Antibiotics are the most common method for attempting to treat an ear infection. How many children do you know who get chronic ear infections? How many times are the doctors going to prescribe the antibiotics? Not only are the drugs not getting to the cause of the problem, but they are hurting the child, as well. Elizabeth explains the mechanism for ear infections and why Chiropractic is a better solution.
One of the most common reasons for parents to take their children to the pediatrician is for chronic ear infections. This accounts for approximately 35% of all childhood visits to the medical doctor . Although usually related to a virus, anti-biotics are prescribed only to cause further damage to the child’s delicate immune system. This occurs when anti-bioticsare over prescribed, killing important gut flora, which makes up approximately 80% of the body’s immune system. If this is the only course of action during these chronic ear infections your child’s immune system will only continue to weaken and disease will manifest. Dangerous anti-biotic resistant bacteria can develop in the child’s body and eventually spread to others, during future colds .
Chiropractic offers a safe, non-drug and non-surgical approach to health care. In the case of ear infections there is often fluid that builds up in the middle ear. This fluid temporarily causes “muffled” hearing. The fluid drains more effectively therefore decreasing the chances for future ear infections with cervical (neck) adjustments . Prominant pediatric chiropractor, Dr. Peter Fysh explains that fluid is unable to drain in children due to their horizontally positioned Eustachian tubes. In children, these tubes are a shorter distance, connecting the middle ear to the back of the throat and nose. The shorter distance coupled with the position of the tubes make it easier for bacteria and viruses to migrate during a “cold”. When there are misalignments, or subluxations, in the child’s upper cervical spine the fluid is unable to drain properly thus creating a breeding ground for future infections. This is why frequent adjustments during an acute infection and follow up maintenance care can assist the body in draining the fluid and with the spine properly aligned prevent future infection . This conservative care is also useful in preventing the use of tubes that often fail causing increased amounts of scar tissue in the ear drum leading to hearing loss. It is estimated that 20 to 30% of tubes are pushed out of the ear drum within several months of the surgery and this rejection rate leads to multiple surgeries which is dangerous enough on its own .
Recent studies show that children who receive a course of anti-biotics and those who do not have any anti-biotics both recover in approximately one to seven days [2,3]. Dr. Joseph Mercola suggests using garlic paste dissolved into olive oil or breast milk administered through a dropper into the ear every several hours to reduce the inflammation, which is causing pain . These natural approaches along with chiropractic care will instantly decrease your child’s pain without the long term side effects of anti-biotics. Natural prevention through breast feeding, which provides the child with IGA (important to fight foreign invaders) along with chiropractic care is not only much safer than any of the other options spelled out above but it is also extremely cost effective . Furthermore, it allows the child to naturally build up its own immune system, which is critical for a healthy child’s development and for the rest of their life!
Regular chiropractic care for you and your entire family is extremely valuable for long term health. Maintenance adjustments can prevent illness through enhancing and strengthening the immune system. Research shows that the nervous system is hardwired into immune system organs therefore it is the nervous system that controls the immune system . Knowing this, it only makes sense to have a properly functioning nervous system free from spinal subluxations. Subluxations in the spine cause interference to the nervous system and the body is unable to fight off infections naturally. To summarize, a subluxation in the upper cervical spine can cause interference of the nervous system, which controls the immune system. Structurally, these subluxations may even be impacting the muscles and other soft tissues structures around the ear, which usually help the ear drain when the body is subluxation free. Specific upper cervical adjustments will allow the body to drain the fluid in the middle ear and strengthen the immune system therefore preventing future infections. Have your spine as well as your child’s spine checked regularly for subluxations and go to the chiropractor if your child presents with the symptoms of an ear infection. A well adjusted child is not only happier but much healthier overall!
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